HC Deb 08 December 1920 vol 135 c2289

The rate of interest on advances under section one of the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act, 1899, and on any expenses recoverable by a local authority under section two hundred and sixteen of the Metropolis Management Act, 1855, or under section two hundred and fifty-seven of the Public Health Act, 1875, or under section fourteen of the Private Street Works Act. 1892, or incurred by a local authority under section fifteen of the Housing, Town Planning, &c, Act, 1909, or section twenty-eight of the Housing, Town Planning, &c, Act, 1919, or on any advances, costs, charges or expenses of substantially the same character under any local Act, shall be such rate as the Minister may with the approval of the Treasury from time to time by order direct

Amendment made: Leave out the word "section" ["under Section fourteen"] and insert instead thereof the words "Sections thirteen and."—[Dr. Addison.]


I beg to move, to leave out the words "the Minister may with the approval of."

This Clause raises a question which is of purely financial importance, and one for the Treasury, as to what is the right rate of interest in dealing with public money. There should be no long process of going from office to office and from Minister to Minister. The real authority in these matters should be consulted in the first place, and a decision should be given by the Treasury, and not by the Minister. That is the much better form of procedure.

Lieut.-Commander WILLIAMS

I beg to second the Amendment. The Treasury in these matters should look after not merely the public purse, but all questions of finance and loans, and if the right hon. Gentleman wishes to get the support of the country for his measure he will accept the Amendment.


There is no necessity for the insertion of these words. The local authorities make their applications to the Ministry of Health, and they are dealt with. They must go to the department that deals generally with that class of work. To accept this proposition would upset the whole machinery. I trust that the Amendment will not be pressed.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.