§ 31. Mr. Willis
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in view of the increased rates of interest that will have to be met by Scottish local authorities, he will increase housing subsidies.
§ Mr. J. Stuart
No, Sir. I would remind the hon. Member that when interest rates on housing loans fell in 1953 and again in 1954 there was no reduction in housing subsidies in Scotland.
§ Mr. Willis
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that his answer will be received with dismay in Scotland? Does he really think it fair that local authorities and municipal tenants should have to pay the cost of the follies of the present Government?
§ Mr. Stuart
Instead of my answer being received with dismay in Scotland, it ought to be a matter of satisfaction that we did not do the opposite in 1953.
§ Mr. Strachey
We are in some bewilderment, because in one answer the right hon. Gentleman told us that the interest rates to the local authorities did not vary with the Bank Rate, and now he has told us that they do vary with the Bank Rate. Will he explain?
§ Mr. Stuart
The answer is perfectly simple. The Bank Rate used to vary constantly, and Public Works Loan Board rates did not always vary with it, but they do bear some relation to it and are now liable to variation.