HC Deb 20 March 1930 vol 236 cc2096-7

asked the Minister of Health if he intends to pay to the voluntary societies the half-yearly grants for the blind as usual on 31st March next?


The grants pay able by my Department for the welfare of the blind during the current financial year have already been paid in the majority of cases. In the remaining cases the grants will be paid before the 31st March.


Am I right in concluding, from that statement, that there has been no change in any case?


Not so far as I am aware.

91. Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that great difficulty will be experienced by voluntary associations for the blind owing to his refusal to make the second payment due from him for the current year and that the amount due will have to be found either by the associations or by the county councils; whether he can state the amount which will be saved by the non-payment of these grants; and if he will reconsider his draft scheme?


I am not aware that difficulty will be experienced by voluntary associations owing to the change effected by the Local Government Act. These associations have received a year's Exchequer grant from my Department during the present year, and they will receive a full year's contribution from the local authorities during the coming and succeeding years. As regards the second and third parts of the question, the equivalent of a full year's grant payable to the associations is included in the consolidated Exchequer grant to be paid to local authorities under the Local Government Act during 1930–31, and no question of a saving to the Exchequer or of loss to the local authorities arises. I see no reason to reconsider the scheme which has been made under Section 102 (1) of the Act.

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that many county councils and voluntary associations are of opinion that they will lose six months' grant?


I have done my best on several occasions to explain that that is really not so. It needs a blackboard to demonstrate it to a number of people.