HC Deb 12 February 1942 vol 377 cc1604-5W
Mr. Groves

asked the Minister of Health the position of the County Borough of West Ham so far as the Goschen Loan is concerned; what was the original loan, the rate of interest, the amount outstanding upon the liquidation of the West Ham Union, the proportion transferred as a liability to the West Ham Borough and the annual charge upon the rates; and whether, in view of the war disabilities of the borough, he will cancel further payments?

Mr. E. Brown

The total amount of Goschen Loans raised by the late West Ham Union was £2,700,000. The loans were raised at various dates between the years 1921–22 to 1926–27 at rates of interest ranging from 4¾ per cent. to 6 per cent. The amount outstanding at the date of liquidation of the Union was £1,663,438 5s. 1d. of which sure £620,579 5S. 9d. was transferred as a liability to the West Ham County Borough and is repayable by 15 equal annual instalments, free of interest, of £41,371 19s. 1d. The last instalment falls due for payment in March, 1945. The West Ham County Borough Council are receiving substantial financial assistance from the Government to meet conditions arising out of the war and in assessing the amount of such assistance regard is had to all the commitments of the Council and accordingly I do not consider that any question of relieving the Council of its liability to repay arises.

Mr. Groves

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the County Borough of West Ham has suffered severely from enemy action, evacuation and loss of trade, and has not greatly benefited from Government con tracts on war work; and whether, as the present Government assistance is not adequate, he will meet a deputation from the borough members on the matter?

Mr. Brown

I have been asked to reply. I have received no representations from the Council in this matter but if they submit a statement showing the points they wish to discuss I should be glad to arrange for a deputation to be received.