§ MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board if he can state approximately the total amount of the assets of the local authorities of the country as compared to the local debt at the present time, or at the latest date for which figures are available.
§ MR. WEDGWOOD (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board what is the total amount of the debt, and what is the total amount of assets of local authorities; and what the surplus of assets over debt amounts to in cases where actual valuation has taken place.
(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) Perhaps I may be allowed to answer these Questions together. The aggregate amount of the outstanding loans for all purposes of the local authorities in the United Kingdom was £564,645,200 at the end of the year 1905–6, the latest year for which the particulars are available. The total value of the assets of the local authorities cannot be given for 1655 purposes of comparison with the debt. According to the Return relating to the indebtedness of the councils of boroughs, other than Metropolitan boroughs, in England and Wales, obtained in 1904, a value of £241,000,000 was set on the corporate property and undertakings on 31st March, 1903, when the total amount of the outstanding loans of those councils was, according to the same Return, about £195,000,000. The value of the assets was, however, estimated in different ways in different boroughs. †