Public Works Loan Board (Local Authority Applications)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1958.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East 12:00 am, 21st January 1958

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many local authorities, having found it impossible to finance housing and other development on current market terms, have applied to him for Public Works Loan Board facilities; and how many he has rejected.

Photo of Mr Jocelyn Simon Mr Jocelyn Simon , Middlesbrough West

I have been asked to reply.

Between 26th October, 1955, and 31st December, 1957, 572 separate applications were made to the Public Works Loan Board by Scottish local authorities; of these seven were rejected, 25 were approved in part and the rest were approved in full.

Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East

The figures appear to be reasonably satisfactory, but is the Financial Secretary aware that many of those authorities which were refused are authorities which are most in need? Will he please look into this matter to sec that every local authority in Scotland with terrific problems on its hands is encouraged to go to the Public Works Loan Board instead of putting advertisements in newspapers in Scotland asking for money at 6 and 7 per cent.?

Photo of Mr Jocelyn Simon Mr Jocelyn Simon , Middlesbrough West

It is for the Board to decide what it is prepared to lend in the light of the present policy, but, of course, there is nothing to prevent any local authority, which has the approval of the central Government Department and which satisfies the statutory requirements, from applying to the Board.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Is the Financial Secretary aware that we are very grateful for having the clearest answer we have had from an Under-Secretary for a long time?