§ 58. Mr. BENNETT
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that between 1920 and 1924 the House of Commons has voted £3,319,600 for the purpose of Civil Liabilities Grants; whether during that period only £2,135,517 has been expended; whether for 1924–25 the amount voted was £165,000, and only £134,000 was expended; and whether, considering the urgent need of utilising this money for the benefit of ex-service men, he will instruct the Civil Liabilities Committee to be more generous and more prompt in dealing with applications?
§ Sir A. STEEL-MAITLAND
The figures given in the question are correct, except that the sum of £134,000 is an estimate only. The difference between the amounts included in the original Estimates and the amounts in fact spent is due to the fact that it was impossible to forecast the precise rate at which applications from eligible candidates would be received. This was particularly the case when the scheme started and the disparity is accounted for mainly in 1920–21, when the difference was nearly £1,000,000. In later years, the disparity has not been large considering the circumstances. I have no reason to think that there is any avoidable delay in dealing with applications from the limited class of disabled ex-service men eligible for grant, and I can assure my hon. Friend that full and sympathetic consideration is given to each application, both by the local committees and by the administrative officials.