HC Deb 10 November 1919 vol 121 cc43-4

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government has agreed to give £1 for every £1 raised by voluntary contributions for the purpose of feeding children in Armenia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria, Southern Russia, and Hungary; and, if so, under which vote the Government contribution will fall?


Yes, Sir. This scheme was fully explained in answers given by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury on 3rd July and by myself on 11th August. The Governments of Great Britain, France, the United States and Italy agreed to provide certain sums for reconstruction and relief in Europe, and His Majesty's Government further undertook as part of their contribution to give £1 for every £1 raised and spent by charitable organisations in the United Kingdom for the relief of distress in Europe. Details of the scheme and of the circumstances which made it necessary were given in an official announcement which was published in the Press of 30th June. The expenditure to be incurred by the Treasury under the scheme was limited in the first place to £200,000, since raised to £400,000. The Government contribution is charged upon the £12,500,000 provided for "Loans and Grants for Reconstruction and Relief in War Areas" in the Estimate for Loans to Dominions and Allies for the year 1919–20. As part of this scheme of international relief large sums have been provided by the American Government and smaller constributions have been made by France and Italy.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the question of advising the Government to make a similar Grant of £1 per £1 for all money raised in this country for the relief of hungry children here?


I do not think the two cases can be compared. We have been making very large payments out of the national funds for the relief of distress in this country.


Is the £1 for every £1 spent, or for every £1 raised?


For every £1 raised. That is to say, £1 for every £1 actually made available for the purposes of relief.