Local Government Finance

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire 12:00 am, 17th December 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make available to hon. Members representing Scottish constituencies detailed information regarding local government finance or, alternatively, supply them with copies of the document published annually by the Municipal Treasurers' Association.

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

I am placing in the Library duplicated copies of a Summary of Financial Statistics prepared by my Department for 1955–56. I could not undertake to supply hon. Members with copies of a publication such as the Rating Review for which the Government is not responsible. This is published by the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants (Scottish Branch) and can be purchased from the Institute. I will ensure that there is a copy in the Library.

Photo of Mr James McInnes Mr James McInnes , Glasgow Central

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland on what dates he laid before Parliament the annual summary of Scottish local authority finance returns for the years 1950 to 1956 in accordance with the provisions of Section 298 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1947.

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

The Returns for 1950–51 were presented on 1st August, 1956, and those for the next three years on 18th February, 30th May and 29th October this year, respectively. Returns for later years are in preparation.

Photo of Mr James McInnes Mr James McInnes , Glasgow Central

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that not only is he in default of the statutory provisions of the Act, but his failure to lay these statistical returns before both Houses of Parliament places his Scottish colleagues at a disadvantage with their English colleagues, whose statistics are always up-to-date? Will he do something about the matter?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

As I think the hon. Member will realise from my reply, we are making a substantial improvement in the time taken to produce these returns. We did fall very badly behind, I agree, but now we have practically caught up with the figures made available to us by local authorities.