My right hon. Friend has informed the town council that its protest has been noted, and that 1857 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?