§ 31. Mr. Denville
(for Sir Adam Maitland) asked the Minister of Health what steps are being taken to deal with the financial difficulties of local authorities; and whether he can make a statement of his policy in regard to this matter?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Central Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Mr. Denville) on 20th February last, and to previous Questions indicating the circumstances in which interest-free advances would be made to local authorities not able to carry on their essential services without assistance. Hitherto the Government in making such advances have retained the right to call for repayment after the war in the light of the financial circumstances then obtaining, but they have now decided that, except in special circumstances, 75 per cent, of such advances shall be treated as grant.