HC Deb 04 March 1926 vol 192 cc1575-7

asked the Minister of Pensions how many applications for education grants have been made to the Special Grants Committee during the last complete year for which figures are available; and how many have been successful and how many refused?

The MINISTER of PENSIONS (Major Tryon)

I understand that during the 12 months ended 20th February last, 4,295 applications were dealt with by the Special Grants Committee under their Regulations. In 1,511 cases grants were made, and in 2,784 cases the applicants were found ineligible by the Committee.


asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that the general purposes committee of the Monmouthshire War Pensions Committee have made an application to the Special Grants Committee on 28th September, 1925, for a grant on behalf of Phyllis Muriel Powell, residing at 30, Victoria Road, Six Bells, Abertillery, and that the application has been refused on the ground that her father was a miner; that her father, Private Philip Powell, No. 1085, Monmouthshire Regiment, was killed in action on 6th May, 1915; that the statement that miners do not send their children to secondary schools is resented as untrue; and will he have this application reconsidered?


I understand that the case referred to was found ineligible for a grant, not for the reason stated, but because the Special Grants Committee were not satisfied, in accordance with the regulations governing the matter, that the cost of the education proposed could and would have been provided by the father having regard to his circumstances. I am, however, inquiring into the circumstances of the case and will communicate with the hon. Member.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take into consideration the fact that the father of this child died in action, that it is presumed that the father would not have provided decent education for his child, that we repudiate that assumption and that we demand that the children of deceased ex-soldiers shall have the best education possible?


I shall be glad, as the hon. Member has already been told, to take into consideration any point in favour of this case that he may bring forward.


In view of the considerable amount of dissatisfaction in the country in connection with the education grants made by the Special Grants Committee, will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether any alteration is needed in the Regulations?


As the hon. Member already knows, the question of education is one of the first points on which I ought to consult the new Central Advisory Committee.


Will the right hon. Gentleman not satisfy the hon. Member for Abertillery (Mr. Barker) that he will give careful consideration to this very distressing case?


Does the right hon. Gentleman review the decisions of the Special Grants Committee, or does the Committee act independently?


I must have notice of that question.