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Local Authorities (Boundaries)

Volume 395: debated on Thursday 2 December 1943

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asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider the appointment of a committee to make recommendations for the revision, if necessary, of the present boundaries of local governments and for the representation of the electorate in those authorities?

The matters to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers could not adequately be considered apart from a comprehensive inquiry into the general machinery of Local Government. For the reasons indicated in the reply given on 22nd September by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the New Forest and Christchurch (Major Mills) and my hon. Friend the Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère), the Government do not propose to institute such an inquiry at the present time.

Is the hon. Lady aware that local authorities are very much worried about the future? Some of their powers have been filched from them, and they do not know where they stand.

I think that local authorities need not at present be worried about these things. I think it would be more worrying if a complete inquiry began at this moment, as they would not then know how they were to carry on in the difficult period immediately after the war.

Is the hon. Lady aware that if they do not start worrying now, it may be too late?