§ 30. Mr. T. WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Health whether he has received any complaints from local authorities within the area of the Doncaster Board of Guardians against his insistence upon immediate repayment of all loans which have been sanctioned for special relief during the mining dispute; is he aware that this action has caused an increase in the rates for the current half year of several shillings in the pound; that the rents of ordinary workmen's dwellings have increased from two to three shillings a week; and, in view of the embarrassment of all sections of the community, will he consider spreading repayment of these special loans over a longer period?
I have received one such complaint against the increase in the rate levied by the guardians, but no such representations have been made to me by the guardians themselves. I understand that the rates have already been levied, and see no reason for my intervention, even if this were otherwise desirable.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
Is the Minister not aware that this exceptional rate at the present moment is being felt much more than would be the ease in ordinary circumstances, and does he not think that loans for such a very special purpose as this ought to be spread over a longer period than is permitted in this case?
If the guardians had approached the Ministry, their representations would, of course, have been taken into consideration, but no such representations were made.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
May I remind the right hon. Gentleman that every local authority in the area Covered by this board of guardians has protested against the shortness of the loan; and, seeing that the rents of miners all over the country have been increased by 2s. or 3s. a week, does he not think that some of the miners are going to pay back directly what they are now being called upon to pay indirectly through their rent?