HC Deb 22 March 1955 vol 538 cc1856-7
32. Mr. Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered the protest from Newmilns Town Council about the effect of the increased rates of interest of the Public Works Loan Board; and what reply he has made.

Commander Galbraith

My right hon. Friend has informed the town council that its protest has been noted, and that in so far as expenditure of local authorities in general is increased it will be reflected in the Exchequer equalisation grant in England and Wales and Scotland.

Mr. Ross

All this means is that an increased burden will be borne, partly by ratepayers and partly by taxpayers. Surely the right hon. and gallant Gentleman must be aware that any increase means an increase in the rates, and is a very serious matter in view of the present parlous situation of local authority finances?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is the Minister aware that this matter is causing great concern in Ayrshire, and that even the Burgh of Ayr is demanding that interest rates be reduced forthwith? Is he not aware that the hon. Member for Ayr (Sir T. Moore) will be committing hara-kiri on the Minister's doorstep if this demand is not acceded to?