HC Deb 22 February 1922 vol 150 cc1901-2
62. Mr. TURTON

asked the Minister of Health, in view of the fact that he received on the 7th December last a deputation form the County Councils' Association, who waited upon his to urge the appointment of a Royal Commission to consider the whole question of the creation and extension of county boroughs in its relation to county government, and that he then suggested that the Association should draft and submit to him proposed terms of reference for a Royal Commission, whether these draft terms were in fact submitted to him on the 30th December last; whether the Association may expect to receive a definite reply on the subject at an early date; and whether, until such reply has been received by the Associa- tion, all further action in connection with the Leeds and Bradford Provisional. Orders will be suspended?


I have received from the County Councils' Association the draft terms of reference for a Royal Commission suggested by them, and have written proposing a joint conference at the Ministry of Health with representatives of that Association and the Association of Municipal Corporations. I am not prepared to defer further action in connection with the Leeds and Bradford Provisional Orders.


Will the proposals embodied in these Orders come before the House very shortly?


I could not say without notice.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at least 90 per cent. of the inhabitants of the districts involved in these schemes are strongly opposed to them? Is not that a sufficient reason for abandoning the schemes altogether?


I have no power to postpone or abandon them. The ratepayer's have a statutory right to come to the House and it is for the House to decide whether or not the schemes will be carried out.


If the Government have any policy of economy whatever why do they not adopt the suggestion of the hon. gentleman and prevent this waste of the ratepayers' money when the money is so much needed in other directions?


We cannot now enter into a debate upon the matter.

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