Road Work (Grants).

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 12th December 1922.

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Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON:

53.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that in normal times the Treasury sanctioned a grant of 50 per cent. of the cost of approved road work undertaken by local authorities, he can see his way to increase the percentage rate of grant in order to give them some inducement to expedite and anticipate work which they otherwise would not put in hand and in this way further reduce the amount of unemployment?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

I have been asked to reply. The sum at present available for distribution from the Road Fund will not permit of any general increase above the normal grant of 50 per cent, of the approved expenditure on the maintenance and improvement of Class I roads and on other road works of importance. Facilities are being given to highway authorities by the Ministry of Transport to expedite and anticipate work with a view to mitigating unemployment, and in addition, as the hon. Member is aware, assistance is given from the funds at the disposal of the Unemployment Grants Committee towards road works among other works of public utility.

Mr. THOMSON:

Can the supplementary grants from the Unemployed Grants Committee be given for the same work as that for which the Road Board are giving the 50 per cent., so as to give an inducement to the local authorities to have useful work carried out?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley Lieut-Colonel Wilfrid Ashley , New Forest and Christchurch

No. The grants by the Unemployed Grants Committee are for third-class roads and not for first and second roads.