HC Deb 12 June 1941 vol 372 cc315-6
14. Mr. Daggar

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered resolutions from the Nantyglo and Blaina, Ebbw Vale, and Porthcawl Urban District Councils asking that consideration should be given to an increase in the rate of billeting allowances upon the ground that, having regard to the increase in the cost of living, the existing rate is inadequate; and whether he will state the nature of his reply?

21. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Health whether he will now reconsider the adequacy of billeting allowances?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Ernest Brown)

A resolution passed by the Ebbw Vale Urban District Council was forwarded to me on 28th April, and I have been informed by the Nantyglo and Blaina Urban District Council of their desire to support it. I have replied to the Ebbw Vale Urban District Council that increases have twice been made in the rates of billeting allowances since they were first settled and that, in my view, they are now generally adequate. In the circumstances I should not feel justified in making any further increase at present.

Mr. Daggar

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that there has been a considerable increase in the cost of living since the last increases were made in billeting allowances?

Mr. Brown

I am not sure that that increase is so considerable.

Sir J. Mellor

Will my right hon. Friend publish an analysis of the average cost to householders of having people billeted upon them?

Dr. Edith Summerskill

Is the Minister aware that the inadequacy of allowances is a real fact and that there is in consequence considerable irritation in many homes, and for the sake of the children will he not remedy the situation immediately?

Mr. Brown

I cannot debate that at Question time. There is a long list of all kinds of arrangements, which the House knows about, which have been put into operation since the first arrangements were made.

Mr. Daggar

In view of the position and the nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I wish to raise the matter on the Adjournment.