§ Mr. JARRETT
asked the Minister of Labour, as representing the Ministry of Health, whether, in view of the fact that urgent schemes of public work to absorb unemployed are being held up, he will urge the Treasury to withdraw the objection to loans raised by boards of guardians being included in the net amount of loans towards which grants are made by the Unemployment Grants Committee; and whether he will assure the House that local authorities will not be hampered and discouraged, in their efforts to reduce unemployment, by the interpretation in the letter, rather than the spirit, of the Local Authorities (Financial Provisions) Act, 1921?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
As regards the first part of the question, the matter to which the hon. Member refers is under immediate consideration, and my right hon. Friend will communicate with him later. As regards the second part, I can assure the hon. Member that the administration of the Act is directed to the giving of the greatest possible assistance to local authorities.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
asked the Minister of Labour, as representing the Ministry of Health, if he is now in a position to state definitely what are the Government's 2975W intentions respecting the renewal of the Local Authorities (Financial Provisions) Act (Part II); whether it is the Government's intention to make such Act, if introduced, retrospective and, in the meantime, assist boards of guardians to obtain the necessary loans for carrying on their work; and whether he is aware that the poorer districts of London are quite unable to make their estimates for the forthcoming half-year owing to their inability to estimate how much they are likely to receive from the richer boroughs towards the maintenance of the poor of their districts?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
As regards the first part of this question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which he received last Thursday. The Government will continue to assist boards of guardians so far as they require loans to meet their necessary expenditure. As regards the last part of the question, I would point out that no difficulty need arise inasmuch as the payments to be made to and from the Metropolitan Common Poor Fund during this and the coming half-year are governed by existing legislations.