§ 6. Mr. Kirby
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the ratepayers of Liverpool are bearing a heavy financial burden in respect of the maintenance of persons who are considered by the local public assistance committee to be able-bodied unemployed but who are not within the scope of the Unemployment Act, 1934; that Liverpool also 341 has a heavy degree of general unemployment, also a high percentage of persons in receipt of public assistance; and will he, in consultation with the other Departments concerned, arrange to give special additional financial aid to the city at an early date, and give special consideration to Liverpool in the placing of Government contracts and new factories which may be required to meet the needs of the fighting services?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I am aware of the unemployment position in the city of Liverpool to which the hon. Member draws attention, and I would remind him that the city is included among the areas to which a preference is given, other things being equal, in the allocation of Government contracts. I can also assure him that the claims of the area in connection with the establishment of new factories required for the Defence Programme have received, and will continue to receive, due consideration. It is, however, not the intention of the Government to undertake any special review of the basis of Exchequer grants to local authorities which were revised as recently as 1937 by the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act of that year.