HC Deb 17 December 1929 vol 233 cc1181-3

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury why no remissions of debts owed by the Scottish fishing harbours to the Public Works Loan Board have been made?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)

Loans granted by the Public Works Loan Board require the specific authority of Parliament for remission and for writing them off from the Local Loans Fund. In this they differ from those granted by the Development Commissioners, which can be remitted by administrative action. The Act which established the Local Loans Fund provides that loans from the fund shall only be written off when irrecoverable. As stated in the note contained in Command Paper No. 3447, certain of these loans are now under consideration with a viéw to the necessary provision being made in the next Public Works Loans Bill.


Is the bon. Gentleman aware that as these loans form by far the larger part of the liabilities of these harbours, the present proposals of the Government really go no distance towards solving their financial difficulties, and will he in that situation agree to the remission of these loans in the next Consolidated Fund Bill?


I do not know whether the hon. Member heard the last part of my answer, but I think that really meets a great deal of his case. In so far as it is possible to do it, it will be seen to in the next Public Works Loan Bill.

Major WOOD

Are we to understand that harbours which have got their loans through the Public Works Loan Board are put at a disadvantage as compared with those which have got them through the Development Commissioners?


It depends on the circumstances, to which I refer in the answer that I have given.

Major WOOD

That is to say, we are at a disadvantage?


Are the Development Commissioners mentioned in the hon. Gentleman's answer, the Commissioners acting in virtue of the powers given them by the Act passed last July—the Development Act?

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