§ 2. Mr. MACLEAN
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a large number of households in the Glasgow area, members of which are on transitional benefit, will have their 2747 incomes reduced by the loss of wages during the Glasgow fair holiday period; and whether instructions have been or will be issued to have the transitional payments increased in respect of the loss in wage income?
The matter is not one on which my right hon. Friend can issue instructions. The authority concerned has full power in making or reviewing determinations to take into consideration, among other circumstances, changes in household income due to holidays or any other cause.
§ Mr. MACLEAN
As the Ministry of Labour issue circulars upon matters not so important as this, could not they also issue a circular giving instructions on a question of this kind?
§ 9. Mr. TOM SMITH
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that, in connection with his application for transitional benefit, John Robert Simson, 64, Skinner (Street, Stockton, an ex-Navy man, was awarded 7s. 6d. per week only on the ground that he was living with his aunt, whose income consisted of 10s. widow's pension, 8s. 5d. allowance for son killed in the War, and 5s. 6d. for the rent of rooms let, plus the earnings of her grandson of 15 averaging 10s. 6d. per week; and whether he will make inquiries into the case with a view to ascertaining if the law is being properly administered?
I have no knowledge of the facts of this particular case. The amount of transitional payments to be paid in any case is determined by the local authority, whose decision is final. Any representations on the matter should be addressed to the authority by the applicant, and I have no reason to doubt that they will receive careful consideration.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Since the Department act on the advice of any auditor 2748 when they think a committee are breaking the law by giving too much, could not the hon. Gentleman, when a case of this kind is brought to his notice, intimate to the public assistance committee with the legal position is?
§ Mr. ANEURIN BEVAN
Is the hon. Gentleman serious in the statement that he will not cause inquiries to be made into the allocation in this case? Surely we are entitled to an answer?
On a point of Order. A large number of supplementary questions have been put to the hon. Gentleman this afternoon, quite courteously, and he has ignored almost all of them. He is simply asked now to cause inquiries to be made into this case, and he refuses to make any reply at all. 1 submit that the hon. Gentleman is not treating the House courteously?
My right hon. Friend has often stated the position in regard to this matter. He has no control over the local authority in regard to specific instances, and he has made it a practice—
I am perfectly certain that if the person in question makes representations to the local authority, all the facts of the case will be given full consideration.
§ Mr. BEVAN
The question which has been asked is whether the hon. Gentleman will cause his inspectors, or the inspectors of the Ministry of Health, to make inquiries into this computation? In many instances, he has stated at that Box particular cases of excessive payments into which he has made investigation. Will he now investigate a case in which the amounts are too small?