§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee—(Lord Stanmore)202
My Lords, before the House goes into Committee on this Bill I should like to ask a question of the noble Lord in charge of it. I apologise to him, but I was unable to be in the House on the Second Reading of the Bill. Clause 2 of the measure deals with loans to parish councils in connection with the relief of able-bodied persons out of employment. Many parishes will find great difficulty in raising loans because the security of those loans will not be such as to justify the banks in giving advances. I understand that His Majesty's Government are not going to ask the banks to lend the money for a period of five years, but that the local authorities will be invited to arrange the loans themselves for five years, and that if they cannot arrange the loan, the Government will step in and raise a loan for them. The parish council will go to the banks for an overdraft, and the Board of Health will be prepared to give a certificate to the bank if the overdraft is in order. I want an assurance from my noble friend that that is an accurate statement; that the Government are prepared to do this, and that this will be the procedure. It is a very important point and a great many parish councils are anxious to have that assurance clearly affirmed, as it did not appear to me to be complete when the Bill left the Commons.
§ LORD STANMORE
My noble friend is perfectly right in the interpretation he puts on the Bill. Parish councils who have overdrawn their accounts with the banks are authorised by the Bill to raise loans, the proceeds of which will be used to pay off the overdrafts. There is no intention of asking the banks to lend for five years; the loans will be raised otherwise, with the help of the Board of Health.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly: Bill reported without amendment.