§ 60. Mr. Tomlinson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether the difficulties of obtaining footwear for necessitous schoolchildren through the medium of the public assistance committees and the Unemployment Assistance Board have been brought to his notice; and will he consider taking steps to extend the powers, already possessed by Scottish education authorities to make this provision, to local education authorities in England and Wales?
The policy of the Board in this matter is set out in paragraph 10 of their Circular 1450, of which I am sending a copy to the hon. Member. My Noble Friend is not aware of any difficulties in obtaining footwear for necessitous schoolchildren which cannot be overcome by co-operation between teachers, education committees, public assistance committees and the Unemployment Assistance Board. On the information before him, therefore, he does not consider it desirable to introduce legislation for the purpose of enabling local education authorities to provide footwear. If, however, my hon. Friend has concrete examples of such difficulties, I shall be only too glad to have the matter looked into.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Do I understand that the hon. Gentleman will be prepared to consider legislation if information can be brought proving that there is a difficulty?