asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether it is right to suppose that the amount of loans given as outstanding in Parliamentary Paper, No. 410, of Session 1875, and stated at £84,194,956, represents the whole amount of local indebtedness on the 31st December 1874; and what further amount of loans to local authorities have been authorized by Government since that date, and for what purposes?
Yes; the sum named by my hon. Friend, £84,194,956, is the amount which, to the best of my belief, was due by the local authorities of England and Wales in June, 1874, June being the end of the local year. The large increase shown by the Return which I laid on the Table is probably due in part to the very imperfect record of indebtedness which previously existed. A further account is now being prepared, which will show the loans authorized by Government Departments since June, 1874. I am unable to say what that amount is at the present moment; but I have every reason to hope that either my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer or the President of the Local Government Board will very shortly make a statement on the subject.