HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2040-1
13. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that discontent has been caused by the exclusion of Dagenham, Barking and other parts of East London from the extra allowances granted to airmen's dependants living in the London postal area; and whether he will consider giving these to all those living in the London transport area, in view of the high rents, fares, etc., which have to be met by residents in outer London?

Captain Balfour

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 21st February by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War, which is also applicable to dependants of airmen.

Mr. Parker

Is the Under-Secretary aware that there is a great deal of feeling in the East London district, that the Government do not realise that London has grown since the last war, and that many parts of it are outside the postal area?

Captain Balfour

I am not aware of any great feeling, but in cases where, owing to exceptional circumstances, there is serious hardship for wives or other dependants because of the calling-up of soldiers or airmen, which cannot be met by normal allowances, applications for special assistance can be considered by the War Services Grants Advisory Committee.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the Under-Secretary not aware that there are many such anomalies, due to the fact, as my hon. Friend has stated, that London has grown in the last 20 years? Would he not reconsider the matter with a view to extending the area in which these extra allowances will be made?

Captain Balfour

The matter has been considered, but wherever you draw a line, there will always be someone who does not come within it.

Mr. Thorne

Why not extend the area to the Metropolitan Police area?