HC Deb 13 February 1941 vol 368 cc1511-2
17. Mr. Denville

asked the Minister of Health whether he can now make any further statement as to the number of local authorities which will, in war-time, require financial assistance to enable them to carry on; the number and aggregate amount of loans which have been sanctioned for the purpose, and the number of applications which are still under consideration; and whether this aid connotes any measure of Treasury control?

Mr. E. Brown

Financial assistance of an aggregate amount of £362,000 has been advanced to 14 local authorities. Appli- cations are under consideration from the 28 Metropolitan boroughs and five other authorities. In addition I have received joint representations from nine county boroughs which have suffered severely from enemy air raids. No estimate can be made of the number of local authorities who may eventually require financial assistance, as this will necessarily depend on the course of the war. Assistance will be conditional on the examination of estimates of expenditure and receipts and the securing of reasonable economy consistent with the maintenance of essential services, but apart from this, the receipt of assistance does not connote close control of the activities of the local authority.

Mr. Denville

Can this money be considered as a loan and, if so, what interest will have to be paid?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Member will put that down in precise terms.

Mr. Thorne

Do I understand that West Ham is one of the damaged areas that applied for relief?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Member will communicate with me about that.