§ 59. Mr. CAIRNS
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the alarm caused by the statement that local authorities have to raise money for financing the housing scheme locally and not by the Government direct in the form of a national loan; and will he issue an official statement setting forth the intention of the Government, as local authorities find it very difficult to raise money locally for this object?
It has been made clear on many occasions and in particular in the circulars issued to local authorities as long ago as December, 1918, that (except in the case of authorities with a rateable value under £200,000) the capital sums required by local authorities for housing schemes must be raised by the local authorities themselves in the market. The Prime Minister received some little time ago representatives of the leading municipalities and other local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland, and together with myself explained the circumstances fully to them. The Prime Minister's statement and a summary of my own more lengthy observations appeared in the Press of Monday the 16th ultimo.
I think the meeting showed very good prospects. It is early to speak as the issue has not yet been made by the local authorities.
If the hon. Member refers to repayments of principal to the Local Loans Fund, these amount during the current financial year to £2,524,895, and this sum will be available in the ordinary course for advances from the Local Loans Fund. There are other charges falling on the Local Loans Fund besides housing.