HC Deb 21 February 1935 vol 298 cc507-8
43. Mr. CLEARY

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he can now make a statement, as a result of his meeting with representatives of local authorities, relative to the further postponement of the appointed day under the Unemployment Act, 1934; and what financial terms, if any, have been offered?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

I am glad to say that agreement was reached with representatives of associations of local authorities in Scotland. Negotiations with the representatives of English Associations are still proceeding. The basis of the Scottish agreement, in broad outline, is that grants will be paid to local authorities from the 1st March, 1935, up to the second appointed day, calculated on the estimated expenditure incurred in the three months ending the 28th February, 1935, which would not have been incurred had the Unemployment Assistance Act been in full operation over that period, less the contributions which, on the same assumption, local authorities would have paid to the board. This arrangement is to be reviewed if the second appointed day should prove to be later than 1st October next.


Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to discuss with the English local authorities their financial commitments on this point from 1st October to 1st March, and, secondly, is he prepared to give a guarantee that no local authority will suffer any extra financial loss from 1st March because of the alteration in the appointed day?


The answer to both questions is in the negative.

Brigadier-General NATION

When does my right hon. Friend anticipate that the agreement with the English local authorities will be reached?


I am seeing their representatives again next Thursday, when I hope that it will be possible to reach an agreement.


When he holds the meeting on Tuesday will it be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to give a report as to what he intends doing after?


I expect to have my dinner after that.