HC Deb 07 February 1929 vol 224 cc1927-8
23. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the President of the Board of Education what staff Mr. Curtis-Bennett has at his disposal for the organisation and co-ordination of the various charitable and other funds for the relief of distress in the coalfields; and in which districts, areas and towns are there representatives of this organisation answerable to the Minister through Mr. Curtis-Bennett?

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

I should like to make it clear that Mr. Curtis-Bennett and his staff have been placed at the disposal of the Lord Mayor of London to assist him in the administration of his fund and are responsible to him and not to me. I am informed that the staff in London consists of 16 persons including typists. In addition, Mr. Curtis-Bennett has four full-time assistants, two at Cardiff for South Wales and two at Newcastle for Northumberland and Durham, acting as liaison officers between himself, the divisional committee and the various local committees operating in the area. For each of the other divisional areas he has the part-time assistance of one officer for this purpose. I should add that responsibility for the actual executive work of distribution does not rest on Mr. Curtis-Bennett's staff but on the divisional committee of the fund for each area, operating through local committees, or through the education and public health authorities, or in certain areas through both, as it may decide.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

I am much obliged to the Noble Lord, but his answer does not mean that he is not responsible for the money voted by this House?


Of course, I am responsible for the money voted by this House, in so far as this House may decide that the Government should actually control its distribution.


Who pays the staff? Does the money come from the fund or does it come from the Exchequer?


This House voted last December a certain sum for administrative expenses.


Could the President say whether any directions have been given as to the placing of contracts by local officers Are goods purchased wholesale or retail?