New Clause. — (Loans to companies for housing.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Finance Bill. – in the House of Commons on 13th July 1922.

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Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

The Clause is rather diflicult to understand, because there is a good deal of reference to previous Acts. Does it apply to companies which have already built houses? Can they ask the Government to advance 75 per cent. of the value of houses they have already built, or does it mean that when they build houses in the future they shall be allowed to borrow 75 per cent. of the cost? It is evident that if they are able to borrow 75 per cent. of the value of houses they have built there is considerable risk to the public funds, because the cost of houses is far in excess of their value at the present time. In that case, 75 per cent. advance on the cost of the houses built would be more than their value to-day. I do not know whether that is the reason the proviso says: Provided that the Public "Works Loan Commissioners shall, in any such case, require, in addition to a mortgage of any land or dwellings, a further security of such value as they may think fit. If, on the other hand, it only means that, they can receive these advances on the houses they may build in the future, probably the security will be better, because the cost of building houses has gone down. Even now, however, I do not think it is a very sound commercial proposition to advance 75 per cent. on the houses which are being built at the present time, because probably in a few years we shall be building at a far less price than to-day.