§ 18. Mr. Sydney Irving
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will arrange for the balance of the Public Works Loan Board's outstanding debt to be used as the nucleus of the capital from which the Board could continuously re-lend while at the same time allowing the Board greater freedom in its lending policy.
No, Sir. I do not consider that a change is called for in the present policy governing lending by the Public Works Loan Board.
§ Mr. Irving
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is increasingly urgent to help efficient local authorities who should have greater access to funds at rates of interest more in keeping with the needs of the services they have to undertake? Will he find means to provide greater stability for local government finance, so that they can get away from the tremendous amount of short-term debt being built up which is worrying them a great deal?
In regard to the first part of that supplementary question, I do not think the course suggested would be a good one. It would lead to the kind of distortion we knew twelve or thirteen years ago when hon. Members opposite were in charge of our affairs.