HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1249-50
66. Mr. A. Jenkins

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education what approaches have been made to the Government to raise the grant in connection with the provision of air-raid shelters for schools from 50 per cent. to 75 per cent., and with what result?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education (Mr. Kenneth Lindsay)

Representations for an increased rate of grant on expenditure on air-raid precautions in schools have been received from the associations representing local authorities, and from 31 individual local education authorities. The 50 per cent. rate of grant is a minimum rate, and where the grant in respect of elementary education generally is at a higher percentage than 50, the grant in respect of air-raid precautions in elementary schools is paid at that higher percentage.

Mr. Jenkins

Is the hon. Gentleman conscious of the differentiation between A.R.P. work and the provision of shelters for children, and is it not prejudicial to the provision of shelters at schools? Will he take steps to make representations to the Government in order to get grants raised to 75 per cent.?

Mr. Lindsay

I understand that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has informed representatives of the local authorities of the desirability of having a review of the expenditure in the New Year.

Mr. Jenkins

But is the hon. Gentleman not aware of the fact that certain local authorities are refraining from the provision of shelters for children because of the low grants?

Mr. Lindsay

I am aware of that.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Does the hon. Gentleman not think that 50 per cent. in his estimate was unreasonable as compared with the 75 per cent. for the older people?