HC Deb 29 April 1964 vol 694 cc405-6
48. Mr. McInnes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what were the average loan charge, the average interest charge and the average rent, all stated in weekly terms, for a council house in Scotland in 1951 and 1963.

Mr. Noble

I shall, with permission, circulate the available figures in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. McInnes

I happen to know the figures which will be circulated. The figures reveal that high interest rates have added 12s. 10d. a week to the rent of the average four-apartment local authority house in Scotland. What steps does the right hon. Gentleman propose to take to eliminate the viciousness of high interest rates?

Mr. Noble

The hon. Gentleman and I have discussed this on many occasions across the Floor of the House. He knows very well that, if subsidies are to be given, we on this side of the House believe that they should be given openly to the individual and not by subsidising rents by lowering interest rates.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

On a point of order. Within the last three or four minutes on two occasions hon. Members opposite have said that they already know the answer to the Question they have tabled. Is not that an abuse of Question Time?

Mr. Speaker

Claims to omniscience raise no point of order.

Mr. Ross

Is there any real reason why the right hon. Gentleman cannot give us this information? It is only three simple figures for 1951 and three simple figures for 1963? Cannot he give us them now?

Mr. Noble

The figures which will be circulated do not apply to 1963, because we have not yet got these figures.

Following are the figures:

1951–52 1961–62
s. d. s. d.
1. Estimated total loan charges per house per week 11 7 25 5
2. Estimated total interest charges per house per week 7 7 18 10
3. Average weekly rent of council houses 9 2 10 1

The figures for the financial years 1950–51 and 1962–63 are not available, and the estimated loan and interest charges for 1961–62 are based on provisional figures.