§ 76. Mr. KING
asked in how many cases a local authority which has adopted the Free Libraries Act has been allowed to reverse that decision and to divest itself of its commitments under the Act by selling its libraries for the best price that can be obtained?
§ 77. Mr. KING
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he has sanctioned the sale of land vested in the St. Pancras Borough Council for the purposes of the Public Libraries Act; whether the money arising from the sale is to be applied in the purchase of other land better adapted for those purposes; whether the land in question was to a large extent a gift to the council for public library purposes; what was the actual value of the land at the time of the purchase; what was the price paid by the council; what is the present amount of the outstanding loan; whether this loan will be repaid; and, if so, what conditions has the Local Government Board attached to the disposal of the balance of the money arising from the sale of the land?
§ Mr. HERBERT SAMUEL
I have sanctioned the sale of the land in question for the best price that can be obtained for it. The sale proceeds are to be applied in repayment of the loan raised by the council in respect of the purchase of the land. I cannot state the actual value of 1712 the land at the time of the purchase, but I do not think that the land could be regarded as to a large extent a gift to the council. The price paid by the council was £13,500, of which £10,500 was for the freehold and £3,000 for the leasehold. The amount of the outstanding loan was £11,925 in October last. If there is any balance after repayment of that debt it will have to be disposed of for some capital purpose in a manner approved by the Local Government Board.