HC Deb 05 June 1905 vol 147 cc722-3
MR. MCKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the fact that the East Ham Town Council have rescinded the resolution passed by the council on April 18th, 1905, on the ground of an alleged indication by the Government to promote, during the present, session of Parliament, legislation which will give additional grants to necessitous districts; whether any such indication has been given by the Government; and whether it is, in fact, the intention of the Government to promote such legislation.

MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

I beg also to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he is aware that the East Ham Borough Council have now rescinded the resolution in which they declared their inability to continue to administer the Education Acts; and whether, in view of this fact, the Government are now prepared to consider the special circumstances of this and other authorities which are heavily rated for the purposes of education.


I have been in correspondence with my hon. friend the Member for West Ham on this subject. I have heard with the greatest satisfaction that the corporation of East Ham have rescinded the resolution to which reference has been made; and I have indicated to those who represent East Ham, or any other districts similarly situated, my readiness to hear their views on the particular difficulties with which they are met in connection with the present heavy rating prevailing in those areas.


May I call the attention of the right hon. Gentleman to the words of the Question, and ask him on that—was any indication of immediate legislation given, and is it proposed to introduce any such legislation during the present session?


I am not aware of any such indication. I made no indication, but I do not know what hon. Gentlemen opposite may interpret as an indication. What I said was that I should be very glad to listen to what these gentlemen have to say, and until I have heard them it is premature for me to make any statement on the subject.

MR. J. H. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)

Has any assurance been given directly or indirectly by the Government to the authorities at East Ham or anybody representing them?


I have answered the Question. If the hon. Gentleman thinks there is an indication, and will tell me what it is, I will endeavour to interpret it.


But there is the distinct statement that the resolution was rescinded because of some indication given.


The hon. Gentleman had better ask the local authority what was the indication, and then put another Question to me on it.

MR. LOUIS SINCLAIR (Essex, Romford)

As I was present at the meeting of the local authority, I can say that no such pledge was received by them. They decided to rescind the resolution on their own account, without any promise.