The net cost to local authorities of repairing storm damage to houses is not yet known, and so the extent to which small authorities—or any authority—may qualify for Exchequer assistance cannot yet be assessed. Each application for assistance on grounds of undue burden on the rates will be considered on its merits.
Yes; I made that plain in my statement to the House about a fortnight ago. The burden on different authorities and the capacity of different authorities will vary. We are anxious to deal with the matter in a fair and sympathetic way when the figures are known.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
At the end of his Question my hon. Friend asks about the basis on which assistance is to be assessed. Can the right hon. Gentleman say anything more precise about that than that each case will be considered on its merits?
No. I am anxious that we should look at each authority's problem, position and need on the merits.