HC Deb 25 June 1957 vol 572 cc17-8
29. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a further statement on his proposals for substituting an overall block grant to local authorities in place of the present system of separate block grants for different services; and to what extent the new system will involve a smaller Exchequer contribution.

Mr. H. Brooke

I hope to present a White Paper shortly.

Mr. Collins

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, according to an apparently factual account published in the Press, his proposals will compel local authorities either to put up the rates or to cut down the public services, and that this will add to the disparity in the quality of services as between local authorities and put heavier burdens on the poorer authorities? Will he look into that aspect before finally publishing his proposals?

Mr. Brooke

I am a little surprised that I have to warn the hon. Member not to believe everything he reads in the Press.

Mr. Mitchison

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman say when he will publish the White Paper, and will it include the figure of the reduction in the total Exchequer contribution for which my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreditch and Finsbury (Mr. Collins) has asked?

Mr. Brooke

I cannot give an exact date, but I want to publish the White Paper shortly.