Clause 7. — (Powers of Borrowing for Purpose of Housing Acts.)

Orders of the Day — Housing (Additional Powers) Bill. – in the House of Commons on 10th December 1919.

Alert me about debates like this

  1. (1) A local authority may, with the consent of the Minister, borrow any sums which they have power to borrow for the purpose of the Housing Acts, 1890 to 1919, by the issue of 1567 bonds (in this Act referred to as "local bonds") in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
  2. (2)A county council may lend to any local authority within their area any money which that authority have power to borrow for the purposes of the Housing Acts, 1890 to 1919, and may, with the sanction of the Minister and irrespective of any limit of borrowing, raise the money required for the purpose either by the issue of local bonds under this Section or by a loan subject to the like conditions and in the like manner as any other loan raised for the purpose of their powers and duties, and subject in either case to any conditions which the Minister may by general or special Order impose.
  3. (3) The provisions set out in the Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to local bonds.
  4. (4)Where on an application made by two or more local authorities the Minister is satisfied that it is expedient that those authorities should have power to make a joint issue of local bonds, the Minister may by Order make such provision as appears to him necessary for the purpose, and any such Order shall provide for the securing of the bonds issued upon the joint rates, property and revenues of the authorities.

The provisions of any such Order shall have effect as if they were contained in a Provisional Order made under Section two hundred and seventy-nine of the Public Health Act, 1875.

(5) Any local authority by whom any local bonds have been issued may without the consent of the Minister borrow for the purpose of redeeming those bonds.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. T. THOMSON:

I wish to make a final appeal to the Minister on behalf of the local authorities, who are handicapped considerably in regard to finance. Local authorities whose rateable value amounts to £200,000 are excluded from applying to the Public Works Commissioners. There is a division in one of the York shire mining districts which, although technically an urban area, consists of an aggregation of comparatively small towns or large villages, where there is no one big town in the whole area, and yet the total rateable value may be over £200,000.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Shoreditch

Places of that kind can organise or join with the county council, and I do not think any hardship would result in that case.

Mr. THOMSON:

My point is that the issue of bonds in such a district would fail, because, although the rateable value is over £200,000, they have no one centre which has more than a very small population or which itself has any considerable rateable value. I therefore hope that the right hon. Gentleman may consider some means of reviewing the position of such districts, which is very difficult and a serious handicap to the progress of the work.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

I beg to oppose the Clause. We believe that it is impossible to raise these loans locally. From the beginning, local authorities whose rateable value is over.£200,000, were told that they must raise loans locally. Some I know have tried and failed. I do not think there is a single local authority in this country that has raised a sufficient loan to carry out its building projects. I do know of one that raised sufficient money to purchase the land, but from then they have paid not a single halfpenny, and the councillors tell me that as far as they can see, it is impossible to do so unless they can get the money from somewhere else. We had this question up yesterday at the Trade Union Conference, where about 5,500,000 people were represented. Many of the people at that conference are members of local authorities, and it was stated by more than one that their experience was up to now that it was practically impossible to raise the money. That Congress called upon the Government to raise a national housing loan, so that all authorities, whatever their rateable value, might be financed from the same source. The object of leaving out Clause 7 is that the Government should be asked to raise the money because we believe that if it is left to the local authorities no houses will be forthcoming.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause 8 (Sub-section (2) of Section one of 6 & 7 Geo. 5, cap. 69, to be Perpetual) ordered to stand part of the Bill.