HC Deb 08 June 1939 vol 348 cc588-9
42. Mr. Lipson

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that the decision to pay education committees only 50 percent, grant towards expenditure on air-raid precautions is regarded by local authorities as a breach of the undertaking arrived at between them and His Majesty's Government; and will he state who is responsible for this decision?

Sir J. Anderson

There has been no decision, as my hon. Friend implies, to reduce the rate of Government grant payable in respect of expenditure on air-raid precautions in schools. As I explained in answer to a question by the hon. Member on 25th May, Civil Defence measures in connection with a grant-aided service attract grant at the rate appropriate to that service, and I am not aware of any undertaking to depart from that general principle in the case of the educational services.

Mr. Lipson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that local education authorities cannot understand why there should be this differentiation, and will he be prepared to meet the representatives of the education authorities in order to clear up the misunderstanding, in view of the need for co-operation between his Department and the local authorities?

Sir J. Anderson

I am always prepared to do anything I can to remove misunderstandings, but as I have explained before, the rates of grants for which I am responsible are those provided under the Act of 1937, and those are concerned with general defence services which, under that Act, local authorities are required to undertake. Those rates have no bearing on the rates that may be payable for the specific services rendered by local authorities in connection with matters for which other Departments are primarily responsible.

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