§ 69. Colonel ASHLEY
asked the Minister of Transport why, in view of the growth of the Road Fund, it has only been found possible to allocate £1,250,000 in 1924–25 towards the cost of improvement of important roads in rural areas, whereas £1,500,000 was devoted to the same purpose in 1923–24?
§ Mr. GOSLING
The original special allocation of £1,500,000 from the Road Fund was not intended as an annual grant, but was made in order to give assistance towards capital expenditure which rural authorities were prepared to incur for the permanent improvement of their more important roads. When the further allocation of £1,250,000 for 1924–25 was made, it was thought that this would be sufficient to cover all the works which these authorities were prepared to put in hand, but as fresh applications are still being received, I have under consideration the question whether a further allocation should be made during the current financial year.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that last year a considerable number of local authorities had to go without any grants at all, and consequently it is urgently necessary that a substantial sum should be given this year?
§ Brigadier-General Sir HENRY CROFT
In view of the fact that representatives of the present Government last year regarded this expenditure as hopelessly inadequate, is there any sinister reason which has decided His Majesty's Ministers to cut it down?