HC Deb 19 February 1952 vol 496 cc27-8
32. Mr. Norman Smith

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how far the former interest rate of 3 per cent. will apply to Nottingham Corporation's housing loans, not yet taken up, but sanctioned before the announcement of the 3¾ per cent. interest rate.

Mr. H. Macmillan

Loans from the Public Works Loan Board bear interest at the rate current at the date of the advance.

Mr. Smith

Is the Minister aware that the chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of Nottingham Corporation has been assuring the city council that the increased rate will not take effect in the case of houses which were authorised before the right hon. Gentleman's announcement in this House early in November?

Mr. Macmillan

The practice is in accordance with the answer I have given. Loans are charged at the rate of interest current at the date of the advance. This practice was fixed by Treasury minute of 1st August, 1945. I have no doubt that what the official referred to—I have not the facts—was the very common practice of many large local authorities of receiving into a common pool the different loans they make, and when they pay them out, of charging them at the average rate that the loans have cost them. It may be that.

Mr. Jay

If the right hon. Gentleman really means to cover the whole increase by the subsidy, why could he not have told us that in December and saved all these weeks of uncertainty?

Mr. Macmillan

I think the right hon. Gentleman's recollection of the Treasury must be fading from him.

Mr. Ivor Owen Thomas

Will the Minister indicate what effective purpose is achieved by the Government first raising the interest on local loans and subsequently, in order to cover such rise, increasing the subsidy on local housing?

Mr. Macmillan

This matter will be covered by a Bill. I did not want to go into every detail until I have discussed many details about the different types of subsidy which are the concern of the local authorities. When I have done that, after the usual meetings a full announcement will be made and a full debate will take place upon the Bill.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the Minister aware that the Lambeth Borough Council, to quote one example, applied for loan sanction in respect of 103 dwellings on 31st October last and that by reason of the inefficiency and delay in the right hon. Gentleman's Department, this council will, when the sanction is granted, be seriously adversely penalised?

33. Mr. Norman Smith

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how much of the £8½ million required for Nottingham Corporation's Clifton and Bramcote Lane housing estates will be borrowed at 3 per cent. interest; how much at 3¾ per cent.; and how much at 4¼ per cent.

Mr. H. Macmillan

This information is not available. The council operate a consolidated loans fund in which individual loans lose their identity and rates of interest are averaged.

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