72. Sir F. HALL
asked the Minister of Health whether the sanction of the Ministry is required to overdrafts by boards of guardians; what was the amount of debt on account of revenue expenditure incurred by boards of guardians in the United Kingdom in each of the years 1919 to 1924, inclusive; what is the present total debt outstanding; and what arrangements will be made to bring these liabilities within reasonable limits?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Boards of guardians were authorised by an Act of 1921 to borrow, with the sanction of my right hon. Friend, by way of loan or overdraft in respect of current expenses. I will send my hon. and gallant Friend a statement of the debt actually incurred under this head at the end of each half-year since the passing of that Act. As regards the last part of the question, every effort is being made to secure the liquidation of the debt as circumstances permit, and, as he will see, the debt has already been completely repaid by the majority of boards of guardians who have been forced to borrow.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Has the hon. Gentleman's Department considered bringing in early legislation to deal with the whole problem, so that it may be dealt with on national lines?
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Has the hon. Gentleman any idea how long it will take the West Ham Board of Guardians to pay their debt?
Sir F. HALL
Is the hon. Gentleman satisfied that the amount borrowed by the West Ham Guardians will ever be repaid?