§ 82. Mr. STEPHEN
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he intends to call a conference of local authorities to consider the scales of relief being paid by public assistance committees, with a view to the provision of adequate maintenance to the able-bodied unemployed and their dependants?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Johnston)
The new Poor Law authorities took over their duties only at 15th May last and are in many cases at present engaged in revising the scales of relief to be paid in their areas, and I understand that in the case of Lanarkshire a conference between representatives of the Public Assistance Committees and Members of Parliament for the county will shortly be held. In the circumstances my right hon. Friend feels that it would be premature to convene such a conference as is suggested, but when the results of the revision are known he will take steps to confer with particular local authorities whose scale of relief may appear to be unreasonably low.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
In view of the fact that the scales have been definitely decided by Glasgow, and in the -Under-Secretary's own opinion the amount for the children is inadequate, will he make representations in order that there may be more adequate scales for payment?
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
In my right hon. Friend's view, any steps to have a conference or discussion on the subject would be premature.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Mostly certainly. The point Is that the local authorities only entered on their duties on 15th May last, and they are at present revising the scale.
§ Mr. MACQUISTEN
Am I right in saying that relief of this kind was never paid or asked for in Scotland until the coal strike of 1926?