HC Deb 19 November 1925 vol 188 cc565-7
50. Mr. GROVES

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the resolutions passed by the Jarrow, Middlesbrough, Tottenham and West Ham authorities to the effect that the burden of supporting unemployed persons not in receipt of unemployment benefit should be transferred from local Poor Law and urban authorities to the national Exchequer, and has he considered that such change would mean that localities lees affected by unemployment would share the burden which distressed areas are unable to bear; and will he state when the Government will be prepared to state its conclusions on the whole question as submitted by the deputation of necessitous areas in July last?


I have been asked to reply, and I would refer the hon. Member to an answer which was given yesterday to the hon. Members for Middlesbrough, in which it was stated that a Committee has been appointed by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to consider schemes submitted for special Exchequer assistance to local authorities in necessitous areas.

55. Mr. BARKER

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that the Committee appointed to consider and report on a scheme for assistance from the Exchequer for necessitous areas contains no Member belonging to Wales and Monmouthshire; and, in view of the industrial distress in Wales and Monmouthshire, will he rectify this omission?


I am anxious not to enlarge the Committee to which the hon. Member refers, and I do not apprehend that the exceptional circumstances of parts of Wales and Monmouthshire will not be fully considered by the Committee.


May I ask whether, as a matter of fact, this Committee has not been appointed with a view to national representation, both Scotland and England being specially represented; and would it not give confidence if at any rate one representative of Wales were added?


I notice that there are two representatives appointed on behalf of Scotland. [An HON. MEMBER: "Three!"] Yes, there is an official from the Scottish Office, and there are two nominated by the county councils and municipal corporations. I will consider the question.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir JOSEPH NALL

Is not the Scottish area administered by the Scottish Office, while the Welsh area is administered direct by the Ministry of Health?

64. Mr. BARNES

asked the Minister of Health whether he has arranged for the Departmental Committee that he has recently appointed to consider the problem of necessitous areas to report at an early date; and whether full facilities will be given to necessitous areas to place their views before the Committee?


I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which was given yesterday to questions by the hon. Members for Middlesbrough in regard to the Committee referred to. It is open to local authorities in distressed areas, as to others, to make proposals to the Committee within its terms of reference.


May I direct the Minister's attention to the fact that his reply yesterday did not state the date when this Committee will report? As it is a matter of urgency, could he give us the date?


I do not think the Minister can be expected to give the date.