HC Deb 06 February 1939 vol 343 cc638-9
75. Mr. Errington

asked the Minister of Health the number of local authorities who have up to the present time sent their proposed five-year programmes to his Department; and what is the aggregate total amount of the proposed programmes so far received?

Mr. Bernays

Up to 2nd February, returns showing provisional programmes of capital expenditure covering the five years commencing 1st April, 1938, had been received from 1,139 local authorities, the estimated capital cost amounting to about £516,000,000.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Now that local authorities have replied, will the hon. Member ask his right hon. Friend to issue an early statement to local authorities as to what the policy of the Government is going to be in regard to this five years' scheme, realising that it will mean the employment of a great many technical people, and that local authorities are in some difficulty in knowing where they are to get this technical assistance?

Mr. Bernays

I will put that suggestion before my right hon. Friend.

Mr. H. G. Williams

In making these inquiries is the hon. Member aware that many of these local authorities are likely to go into bankruptcy first?