HC Deb 15 November 1917 vol 99 cc581-2
76. Mr. R. LAMBERT

asked the Joint Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many invitations were issued to delegates or others for the war savings meeting at the Albert Hall on 22nd October; whether those invited were informed at the time that their out-of-pocket and travelling expenses would be paid; and where the invitations were sent from?


Invitations were issued to the full extent of the reserved seating accommodation of the hall, namely, 5,500 seats, irrespective of the gallery, which was unreserved. Of these invitations 3,000 were sent to voluntary officials of 1,500 war savings committees, who were informed at the time that their travelling and out-of-pocket expenses would be paid. The invitations were issued from the office of the National War Savings Committee.

I may add that in the opinion of all those who are responsible for the war savings organisation, it was very desirable that these voluntary workers should be given the opportunity of attending the meeting and other conferences on the work of the association, and that unless out-of-pocket expenses were paid it would have been impossible for many of those to attend who are rendering the most valuable service. I am sorry to say that the questions of the hon. Member have created strong feeling of disappointment in the minds of these persons, who have interpreted them as an unjustified reflection on their self-sacrifice and disinterestedness.


Is it not a fact that an enormous amount of purely disinterested end, voluntary work has been done by these gentlemen to the great good of the State?


That is precisely why I answered the question. We have been receiving from small contributors alone something like £2,000,000 a week, and that money could not possibly be raised—it would cost too much—but for this voluntary assistance.

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