HC Deb 29 February 1944 vol 397 cc1246-7
53. Mr. Alfred Edwards

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why particulars of moneys paid to Members of Parliament for expenses whilst engaged on Government business are not available to Members; and if he will reconsider the position with a view to giving the total amount paid to date under such account.

Sir J. Anderson

It would be a heavy and unprofitable task to keep an adequate central record of all this information, and I certainly cannot undertake to give the total of past payments. I will, however, consider the form in which a list can be made available to the House, shoWinģ the sums payable to those Members for whom regular expense allowances have been authorised.

Mr. Edwards

Is the Chancellor not aware that the impression has gone abroad, rightly or wrongly, that very considerable sums of money are received by these people, and that it is very unfair to the people concerned if a statement is not available to the public?

Sir J. Anderson

I will see what I can do.

Mr. Thorne

Will the Chancellor state what amount is allowed per day for these individuals? Is he aware that when I went to Russia, I was paid two guineas a day?

Sir J. Anderson

Yes, Sir. I will see that the statement shows the amount per day where there is a regular expenses allowance.

Mr. Maxton

Will the Chancellor give us a guide as to how to get on the list?

Mr. Gallacher

If the Chancellor considers providing such information, would it not be desirable also to provide information as to the expenses which Members are getting from outside organisations?

Sir H. Williams

Can the Chancellor say whether the two guineas per day allowed in Russia, compared with the lower figure here, was due to the cost of living being much higher in Russia?

Sir J. Anderson

I do not know.