HC Deb 06 February 1929 vol 224 cc1771-3

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can state for four weeks ending 11th August, 8th September, 6th October, 3rd November, 1st December, 29th December and 26th January the average amount per head per week which has been distributed to recipients from the Lord Mayor's Fund?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Lord Eustace Percy)

In view of the form in which relief is distributed, it would not be possible to give the information asked for by the hon. Member.


Is the Noble Lord aware that a committee for distribution was set up six weeks ago, approved by Mr. Curtis-Bennett, for the Seaton Burn district, and that, three weeks ago, hundreds of pounds were sent by Kingston-on-Thames to the Lord Mayor's Fund earmarked for Seaton Burn, but that up to the present not one penny has been received by the local committee?


I am not aware of that fact. If the hon. Lady will give me particulars, I will inquire into it.


In view of the difficulties that many distressed and unemployed workpeople are experiencing, will the Noble Lord lay down, by a White Paper or by an answer to a question, what the term "mining area" means for the purpose of the distribution of the Lord Mayor's Fund?


That point does not arise out of the question on the Paper.

57. Sir W. de FRECE

asked the President of the Board of Education the steps which are being taken to organise the collection of money in aid of the Lord Mayor's Mansion House Fund, as apart from the methods of distribution; whether there is any section of the administration which solely concerns itself with this aspect of the movement for the relief of distress; and, if not, whether he will suggest its establishment?


The organisation of local machinery for the collection of contributions to the fund rests with the Lords-Lieutenant and with the heads of municipalities in England and Wales. One of the functions of the coalfields distress funds organisation is to coordinate these various appeals and to give advice and assistance to those who are responsible for them. It has not been found necessary that any section of the central administration should be devoted solely to this purpose, and the fact that, since the central machinery was set up, the fund has increased from, approximately,£150,000 to, approximately. £650,000 is, I think, sufficient evidence of the adequacy of the present arrangements.

58. Mr. MALONE

asked the President of the Board of Education what arrangements are made to control the purchase of boots and shoes from the Lord Mayor's Fund; how and what purchases have been made; whether competitive tenders have been invited and, if not, what has decided the placing of any orders; and what steps have been taken to confine the purchases to boots manufactured in Great Britain and to ensure a reasonable standard of quality?


The purchase of boots and shoes from the Lord Mayor's Fund is effected wholly by the local organisations of the fund, and it would not be possible, without calling for returns from the various committees, to give particulars of purchases made. No rules have been laid down in regard to the source of supplies or the methods by which they should be obtained, the decision on these matters being left to the divisional committees, who are in a position to judge of the methods best suited to their particular requirements and circumstances.


Can the Noble Lord give an assurance that there is no truth in the statement that shoddy boots at 4s. 9d. a pair have been sent to the miners, and particularly that they were not bought in Northamptonshire?


The only information that I have about that allegation is its positive denial in yesterday's papers.