HC Deb 06 June 1946 vol 423 c2159
59. Mr. Price-White

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why a premium is demanded from local authorities by the Public Works Loans Board for premature repayments of sums loaned to enable authorities to make advances under Section 59 of the Housing Act, 1925, when no such premium is de manded for repayments of advances made under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act.

Mr. Dalton

I understand that the hon. Member intended to refer to Section 89 of the Housing Act, 1925. Borrowers under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Acts have a statutory right to repay the local authority at any time. Borrowers under the Housing Acts have no such right, but if a borrower's mortgage allows him to repay, the normal premium payable by the local authority on repaying the Local Loans Fund is in fact reduced by 75 per cent., or, in cases of special hardship, waived altogether.

Mr. Price-White

Would the Chancellor of the Exchequer consider waiving all questions of premium in these matters and in similar cases in order to encourage thrift on the part of those who may in time repay the local authorities concerned?

Mr. Dalton

We are operating, as the hon. Gentleman pointed out, under an Act of 1925. The general principle is that when loans are made by the Public Works Loans Board and when they are repaid before the due date, an amount sufficient to liquidate the liability incurred by the Local Loans Fund in respect of the advance should be paid. Otherwise, it is difficult to keep the accounts in balance. We do now waive this claim wherever hardship can be shown, and I think I can give an undertaking that hardship will be interpreted not ungenerously.