§ 26. Lord SCONE
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why the County of Dumfries has received over £49,000 of the £137,500 provided for the improvement of Scottish rural water supplies; and whether he is satisfied that the Dumfriesshire ratepayers can be reasonably asked to contribute the remaining £180,000 which is required to carry out the approved schemes?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
In considering applications for grant under the Rural Water Supplies Act, 1934, the Department of Health for Scotland had regard to two factors, namely:—(1) the need of each of the areas concerned for a public water supply or an improved water supply from the point of view of public health and housing, and (2) the burden of rates in the area. The grant of £49,417 offered to the Dumfries County Council was allocated on this basis. In regard to the second part of the question, I am satisfied that the amount which the ratepayers will be required to contribute if the offers of grant are accepted bears a reasonable relation to the contribution by the State.
§ Lord SCONE
Will my hon. Friend state whether from these figures one may assume that the County of Dumfries was 1752 previously in a worse position with regard to water supply than any other part of Scotland?
§ Mr. SKELTON
I have already told my Noble Friend the considerations on which the grant is decided, and I think he can make the deduction for himself.