HC Deb 14 June 1945 vol 411 cc1769-70
60. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consider making capital loans to borough councils and other appropriate bodies, free of interest, to afford these authorities an early opportunity of proceeding with post-war housing schemes where it can be shown that they are prepared to let the newly-erected houses at a rent comparable with existing estates, especially bearing in mind the amount that the ratepayers will be able to afford.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Anderson)

The arrangements made by the Government for the supply of capital for local authorities ensure that they will obtain the full benefit of the Government's cheap money policy. The Government also recognise that, for housing, cheap money will by itself be insufficient in present circumstances, and that further financial assistance from the central Government will be necessary. They consider, however, that this further assistance should take the form of subsidies provided on Votes, and so brought openly to the notice of Parliament, and should not be in the concealed form of concessions on rates of interest.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the difficulties of local authorities is that they do not know how much they are going to get? Will the Government make up their mind soon, so that the authorities may have some idea of what their financial commitments may be?

Sir J. Anderson

I will take that into account.

Mr. De la Bère

I think it was quite a good answer.