HC Deb 22 June 1939 vol 348 cc2434-5
53. Mr. Collindridge

asked the Minister of Health whether, in assessing needs of applicants for public assistance, regard will be had by public assistance committees to allotments and payments coming into a household as a consequence of a man who has left such household for purposes of serving in the Militia?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Elliot)

There is no statutory authority which would entitle public assistance authorities in assessing relief to disregard allotments and dependants' allowances made by or in respect of persons serving in the Militia.

Mr. Collindridge

Does not the right hon. Gentleman feel that this particularly vicious operation of a means test is not calculated to make those militiamen who are affected into good fighting units?

Mr. Shinwell

Does the Minister appreciate that if the allotments made by militiamen are taken into account it will be an inducement to militiamen not to make allotments?

Mr. Elliot

I have to operate the law as it stands, just as hon. Members opposite had to do when they sat here.

Mr. George Griffiths

Did not the Minister hear the reply of the Minister of War last week that the 3s. 6d. should not be taken into account and cannot he act in the same way?