§ 24. Mr. Spriggs
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is now prepared to make more money available to local authorities for housing and other work of social importance at rates of interest comparable with official loans made to private firms.
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)
The rates of interest at which loans are now made available to local authorities for housing and other works of social importance are well known. I see no need for a change in present Government policy on this matter.
§ Mr. Spriggs
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that a number of local authorities are no longer building houses for the general need and that the Government's present economic policy is having a crippling effect on local authority finance?
Mr. H. Wilson
Quite apart from the fact that here the Chancellor is flying in the face of the Radcliffe Report, would the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether any of the arrangements for loans to private companies bear a lower rate of interest than those charged to local authorities?
§ Mr. Lloyd
So far as two particular loans are concerned, I think the right hon. Gentleman knows that the loan to the Cunard line is 6¼ per cent.—the same rate as to local authorities—and to Richard Thomas and Baldwin the figure was 6 per cent., which is the same as the rate to nationalised industries.
Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman know that Richard Thomas and Baldwin is a nationalised industry? Would he give us the figures for Colvilles?