HC Deb 24 June 1937 vol 325 cc1351-2
13. Mr. Day

asked the Minister of Labour the amount of outstanding Treasury advances from the Unemployment Fund as at the last convenient date, together with the unexhausted amount of authorised borrowing power; and when the balance will be exhausted and it will become necessary to make further provision for these borrowing powers?

Mr. E. Brown

I think the hon. Member is a little behind the times. The system under which the borrowing powers of the Unemployment Fund were continually expanded as they became exhausted was brought to an end in the autumn of 1931. The debt of the fund thus accumulated is now funded, and at the present time stands at a total of about £104,000,000. There are strictly limitéd and temporary borrowing powers, which have so far not been used, as set out in Section 60 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1935.

Mr. Day

Do we understand, then, that it will not be necessary to borrow any fresh moneys?

Mr. Brown

Not as long as there is a National Government.

Mr. Bellenger

Is not that an illustration of the Government's unorthodox finance?

Mr. Brown

No, Sir, it is a proof of the soundness of its general policy and of its finance.

Mr. Lawson

Will the right hon. Gentleman draw the attention of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to his answer, seeing that the Chancellor is asking for £1,500,000,000?

Mr. Brown

There is no need for that. If the hon. Member will give me a chance to explain the whole of the Estimates, I shall be glad to explain it to him.

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