§ The EARL of POWIS
moved for a Re- 1431 turn of the Amount lent in each year since 1830 by the Public Works Loan Commissioners to England, Scotland, and Ireland. Return of the several Loans now outstanding in each Kingdom—1, on Security of County Rates; 2, Railroads; 3, Roads, Canals, Docks, and Harbours; 4, other Works and Buildings; and of the Years in which each of such Loans will be paid off, together with the Rate of Interest now paid on each Loan. The noble Lord also asked whether it was the intention of Her Majesty's Ministers to provide for the Ratepayers in Counties any facilities for borrowing money for Bridges, Shire Halls, Gaols, Asylums, & c, corresponding to those which they have hitherto enjoyed under the Public Works Loan Commission?
§ The EARL of DERBY
could have no objection to grant the papers moved for by his noble Friend; but he had found, since he gave the notice yesterday, that there was a return of the 8th July, 1851, to the House of Commons, which would give up to that period the whole of the information which his noble Friend required, and which went back as far as 1824. The terms of the Motion might be altered so as to continue that return up to the present time. With regard to the question, he presumed that his noble Friend adverted to the declared intention of the Government in one part of the Budget to suspend the continuous issue of an annual sum to the Loan Commission. It was undoubtedly the opinion of the Government that, in the present state of the money market, it was not desirable to continue a system which had been introduced, in the first instance, under very different circumstances, for the purpose of meeting great public distress, and a great deficiency of capital in private hands. It had, therefore, been thought better that, while the repayments should continually come in and be applied to the Ways and Means, the balance should not he continued to be used, and, consequently, an addition would be made to the annual Ways and Means of the country. His noble Friend spoke of the inconvenience the country would sustain by the discontinuance of Government assistance, and put it on two grounds. One was that the county rates were not a good security; but he (the Earl of Derby) must protest against the doctrine, that the Government were to invest public money in a security that was not approved of. The other ground was, the reluctance of private lenders to ad- 1432 vance money that was to be paid by temporary instalments. That inconvenience applied not only to works of this description, but also to works of a different description, the expenses of which were to be repaid in a similar manner. The insurance offices, to a great extent, had proceeded on that principle; but they had reason to believe that the insurance offices had gone to as great an extent as they could in lending on this description of security, and therefore Her Majesty's Government still had under their consideration the mode in which they might, to a certain extent, intervene between the borrower and the lender, without making fresh advances from the public treasury. He did not know whether it would be practicable to bring the plan to bear, but he hoped it might be done.
Ordered to be laid before the House—
Returns of the Names of the Public Works Loan Commissioners; of the Expenses of the Board; of the Amounts placed at the Disposal of the Commissioners, and Amount remaining unissued; of the Amounts advanced to Borrowers, and contracted to be advanced, distinguishing such as are on the Security of County Rates; of the Total of Principal and. Interest received and returned into the Exchequer; and of the Total Amount of Principal remaining unpaid; and a general Statement of the Transactions of the Commissioners from their Appointment, June 1817.
§ House adjourned to Thursday next.