§ Sir R. GOWER
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that the corporation of the borough of Gillingham, Kent, to enable it to proceed with schemes for relief of unemployment, has applied to the Public Works Loan Board for a loan and has been informed by that authority that, as the rateable value of the borough of Gillingham now exceeds £200,000, no application for a loan can be considered other than on the basis of the sale of national savings certificates; that, in consequence of the corporation of Gillingham having embarked upon a progressive housing scheme, it has exhausted its right to a loan from the Public Works Loan Board on the basis aforesaid; and whether, having regard to the necessity that exists in the borough of Gillingham for schemes for the relief of 999W unemployment to be proceeded with at once and to the circumstance that local authorities are experiencing considerable difficulty in raising loans in the open market at a reasonable rate of interest, His Majesty's Government will consider the desirability of taking immediate steps, by legislation or otherwise, to empower the Public Works Loan Commissioners to consider application for loans for works for the relief of unemployment apart from the restriction as to the sale of national savings certificates, particularly in the case of those boroughs whose rateable value, through the incidence of the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925, now exceeds £200,000?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
I have been asked to reply. I am having inquiries made into the matter, and will communicate with the hon. Member.