HC Deb 31 October 1939 vol 352 cc1737-8
45. Mr. Ede

asked the Prime Minister the names of the members of the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Rate of Children's Allowances, the Department each represents, and their terms of reference?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

I understand that this inquiry is being made by an informal committee of officials representing the Departments concerned. No formal appointments were made to it or specific terms of reference laid down.

Mr. Ede

Could the right hon. Gentleman say which Departments are represented, and whether there are any women serving on the committee?

The Prime Minister

The Departments are the Service Departments, the Ministry of Pensions, the Ministry of Labour, the Unemployment Assistance Board and the Treasury. So far as I know, there are no women on the committee.

Mr. Ede

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the criticisms which were made in this House as to the way in which these allowances pressed upon women dependants, and will he consider the appointment of someone to deal with this question?

Viscountess Astor

As it was the officials who made the muddle would it not be better to have some outside person?