HC Deb 20 April 1950 vol 474 cc324-5
72. Mr. Logan

asked the Minister of Education if he is prepared to lend money, interest free to build new voluntary schools and agree to extend the period for repayment of loan, or what he intends to do to lighten the financial burden in regard to the building of new schools.

Mr. Tomlinson

I have power under Section 105 of the Education Act, 1944, to make loans under certain conditions to the managers or governors of aided or special agreement schools in respect of their share of the cost of altering or replacing existing accommodation. Half the cost of such projects is met by direct grant from my Department, and in the case of special agreement schools up to three-quarters of the cost is paid by the local education authority. The Act does not enable me to make loans or to pay grant for the building of completely new voluntary schools which provide additional places, and which are not eligible for grant.

The exact terms and conditions of each loan are specified in an agreement made with the consent of the Treasury. The current arrangements are given in Addendum No. 1 to Administrative Memorandum No. 199, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy. The payment of reasonable rates of interest on such loans is part of the essential framework of the 1944 Settlement, and I could not therefore agree to charge no interest. The period for repayment is determined in relation to the circumstances of the individual project, and has regard in particular to the life of the resulting asset. I am, however, exploring with the denominations concerned other means of alleviating the problems which are now facing them.

Mr. Eric Fletcher

As the matter is one of general interest, would the Minister arrange for the document to which he has referred to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT?

Mr. Tomlinson

The document to which reference is made is a memorandum which can be obtained on application by those interested.