HC Deb 15 June 1937 vol 325 cc196-7
54. Mr. W. Joseph Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that local authorities are having to bear the cost of dental treatment to persons in receipt of allowances from the Unemployment Assistance Board; and will he seek to secure an early amendment of the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1934, to enable the board to meet the needs of persons who are receiving allowances from the board?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)

Section 38 (4) of the Unemployment Act, 1934, provides that the "needs" to be met by the board under that Section do not include medical needs, which by Section 54 (1) are defined to include dental needs. No amendment of this provision is proposed.

Mr. Stewart

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that large sums of money are being spent by local authorities, and is it not possible to amend the Act so that the charge for dental treatment can become a national charge?

Mr. Brown

The question has already been decided by Parliament in the Act.

Mr. George Griffiths

When the Bill was discussed in this House, did not the Minister tell us at that Box that the Section would cover this definitely?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps if the hon. Member will read the answer that I have given, he will see that the question is specifically stated. It refers to the Section of the Act.