HC Deb 26 June 1956 vol 555 cc244-5
21. The Rev. Ll. Williams

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government why he refused the application of the Abertillery Urban District Council for a loan sanction to proceed with a proposed recreation ground at Cwmtillery.

Mr. Powell

Because of the Government's decision to place an embargo for the time being on local authority loans for all but the most urgent purposes.

The Rev. Ll. Williams

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the township of Cwmtillery, the National Coal Board is engaged in the expenditure of between £1 million and £2 million in capital investment, but that that money will be of no avail if miners are not forthcoming to enable the plans to be carried out, and that miners will not remain indefinitely in a place so devoid of ordinary amenities? Is the hon. Gentleman prepared to receive a deputation from the Abertillery Urban District Council on this urgent and, in our estimation, necessary matter?

Mr. Powell

I am aware, from my own personal knowledge, of the need for this kind of facility in the Tillery valley, but this is a type of expenditure which, for the moment, must be deferred by reason of the economic situation.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Before the Minister arrives at this decision, will he pay another visit to the valley and, in particular, to Cwmtillery, which is an important part of the South Wales coalfield? Does he not realise that actions of this kind are no inducement to the miners to produce the coal that we require?

Mr. Powell

The importance of the facility is fully recognised, but if local authority capital expenditure is to be restricted as is at present necessary, this type cannot at the moment be allowed to go forward.

The Rev. Ll. Williams

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The Minister has not answered the second part of my supplementary question, which was about a deputation.

Mr. Speaker

I cannot help that.

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