asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what are the difficulties preventing local authorities from lending any surplus funds to the Treasury free of interest; and whether he is taking any steps to enable local authorities to do this if they should so desire.
Local authorities, as trustees for the ratepayers, have a duty to invest surplus funds and to secure interest on them. Failure to invest surplus funds would render the authority liable to challenge at audit or otherwise by any ratepayer. It is not considered desirable to take any steps to alter this position.
Do we now understand that, if some local authority has a surplus, and even if it wishes to lend it to the Government, it is precluded from such patriotic action, and that no attempt is made to assist it in this direction?