HC Deb 01 March 1920 vol 126 cc23-4
37. Mr. W. GRAHAM

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the very large number of Bills and Provisional Orders which are now being promoted by local authorities for necessary and urgent public work and other needs; whether any of these Bills and Orders deal with questions of area and amalgamation; whether, in view of the present position of national and local finance, any steps can be taken in general statute or otherwise to reduce the great expense of these promotions; and whether, having regard to the fact that the success of the Government's legislation depends largely on extended areas in such spheres as housing, transport, and electricity, the Government will be prepared to give a general indication of opinion to the Committees considering these Bills in favour of such extended areas as being consistent with national and local needs and, by such indication of opinion, materially reduce the evidence and the expense of the inquiries?


The answer to the first two parts of the question is in the affirmative, and my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Health, is giving special consideration just, now to the question whether it may not be practicable to arrange some changes in procedure which would lessen the expenditure in all cases of this nature: and he will shortly be consulting the Advisory Council on the subject In regard to the last part of the question, the decision in each case must depend on a large variety of considerations, both particular and general, and I am not at present in a position to give any such general indication of the Government's views as is suggested.