§ 14. Mr. LUNN
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the discontent existing amongst demobilised men regarding the delay and dilatory methods of the Civil Liabilities Commissioners in meeting the claims of applicants for resettlement grants; if he will state why in certain cases after a claim has been made out within the regulations such cases are being turned down without satisfactory explanation; and if he will state what steps he intends to take to expedite the decisions of the Commissioners and to administer the regulations in the spirit in which they are formulated?
The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir R. Home)
I am aware that there have been complaints concerning delay in giving decisions by the Civil Liabilities Department, and I have taken steps to enable the Department to deal more expeditiously with the applications which are made. It may be taken generally that where a grant is refused serious financial hardship by reason of undertaking military service has not been sufficiently proved in terms of the Regulations. I am always prepared to re-examine cases in which fresh facts are disclosed indicating that such hardship has been suffered.
§ 16. Mr. DONALD
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that grants have been given by the Military Service (Civil Liabilities) for the purchase of tools to apprentices who reside with their parents, and consequently do not require the whole of their income; whether similar treatment will be given to apprentices without parents living who have to maintain themselves; whether under these circumstances he will reconsider the claim of Nicholas Ferguson, who has been refused financial support; and whether he is aware that this apprentice has to be obliged to his fellow workmates to lend him tools so that he may be able to complete his apprenticeship?
§ Sir R. HORNE
I am not aware that grants have been given in the first type of case or refused in the second, but if the hon. Member will supply me with instances I will have inquiries made. The claim of Nicholas Ferguson, to which reference is made, was refused, as I have already explained to the hon. Member, on the failure sufficiently to establish the existence of serious financial hardship by reason of undertaking military service.
§ 31. Colonel ASHLEY
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has now decided to inform unsuccessful applicants for help from the Military Service (Civil Liabilities) Department of the ground on which a grant is refused?
§ Sir R. HORNE
After carefully considering the suggestion of the hon. and gallant Member, I have come to the conclusion that the grounds of decision in such cases should not be specified. I have arrived at this opinion with some reluctance, but a. survey of the reasons which in some cases determine the result has made it plain to me that it is better in the interests of everybody that the reasons should not be published.