HC Deb 07 March 1940 vol 358 cc535-7
5. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour the amount of grants made by the Commissioner for Special Areas during the past 12 months, and how the grants have been distributed and the purposes for which they were made; and to what extent it is proposed to maintain the work of the Commissioner during the present year?

Mr. E. Brown

As the question involves a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Griffiths

Are these grants being studied in relation to the recommendations of the Royal Commission and will the right hon. Gentleman make a statement on that matter?

Mr. Brown

I cannot make a statement on that point, as it does not arise out of this Question.

Following is the statement:

The commitments entered into by the Commissioner for the Special Areas (England and Wales) during the 12 months ended 31st January, 1940, were as follow:

Type of Scheme. £
Industry 565,000
Health 516,000
Housing 581,000
Agriculture 20,000
Social Services 183,000
Total £1,865,000

The commitments relate to offers of financial assistance made to trading estates companies, local authorities, housing and land settlement associations and voluntary bodies, etc., undertaking schemes of the types referred to. During the same period the total payments made by the Commissioner amounted to £2,913,000 and were largely in discharge of commitments entered into prior to 1st February, 1939. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to my statement on 12th December, 1939, on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill.

65. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the num- ber and the amount of the loans granted during the past 12 months by the Special Areas Reconstruction Association; and whether the Association proposes to continue its work and to make loans in the coming financial year?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Captain Crookshank)

The Special Areas Reconstruction Association has agreed to make 23 loans amounting to £68,850 during the last 12 months. Certain of the loans, however, will not be proceeded with during the present abnormal trading conditions owing to the restrictions of markets, essential supplies, etc. The Association is continuing its work and proposes to grant further loans in suitable cases having regard to the circumstances prevailing when the applications are considered.

Mr. Mathers

Can we have circulated in the Official Report details of the loans which have been authorised and those which have been postponed?

Captain Crookshank

I do not know whether the information is available or not, but if the hon. Member likes to put down a Question on the point, I will see to it.

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