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West Ham (Loans)

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 1 April 1952

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32.

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government for particulars of all types of loans, sanctioned by his Department, so far as the county borough of West Ham is concerned, and the interest rates charged; and if he will state how these will be affected by the recent increases in the Bank rate.

My right hon. Friend's Department sanctions necessary loans to West Ham Council for all their services. The sanction is not concerned with the rate of interest, which may vary with the date, period and source of the borrowing, and he has no information on this. So far as the effect of the recent rise in the Bank rate on loans from the Public Works Loan Board is concerned, he would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Chancellor on 17th March in winding up the debate on the Budget.

Yes, but is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the fact that West Ham is the worst bombed borough in the country and that it has immense financial difficulties because of the loss of rateable property? Whilst we appreciate his generosity in making the £50,000 grant, is he not aware that the increased Bank rate will mean that this council will be in further financial difficulties? Will he, therefore, do something to assist this council, and councils in like position, to offset the increase resulting from the statement of the Chancellor?

The special difficulties of West Ham are met by the grant of £50,000 referred to by the hon. Member, but the Bank rate itself does not affect the rate of interest to West Ham. It is the interest rate of the Public Work Loans Board which matters.