36. Mr. T. THOMSON
asked the Minister of Labour, as representing the Ministry of Health, if he is aware that where local rates are between 20s. and 30s. in the £ the granting of temporary loans for short periods ranging from six months to five years affords no real relief; and, pending the decision of the Government as to special grants to necessitous areas, will he sanction the extension of these loan periods to at least 10 or 15 years in order that industry may have an opportunity of recovery with as little hindrance as possible from the burden of exorbitant rates?
§ Major BOYD-CARPENTER
My right hon. Friend is unable to accept the suggestion conveyed in the earlier part of this question. In dealing with applications for sanction to borrowing, every care is taken, as regards both the amount and (within the statutory maximum of 10 years) the period of the loans, to afford the maximum of assistance to the local authority.
I desire to give notice that, in view of the unsatisfactory reply, I shall raise this question on the Consolidated Fund Bill, in order that the subject may be discussed before we rise.
§ Mr. HARDIE
Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman say what rate of interest is being charged by the Government on loans granted to these necessitous areas?