HC Deb 27 January 1944 vol 396 cc861-2
65. Mrs. Cazalet Keir

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether it has yet been decided that children's allowances are to be paid direct to the mother.

66. Mr. Parker

asked the Minister without Portfolio when the Government propose to make an announcement about their family allowances scheme; and whether it is likely to come into operation before the raising of the school-leaving age to 15.

The Minister without Portfolio (Sir William Jowitt)

I must ask my hon. Friends to await the publication of the promised White Paper.

Mrs. Cazalet Keir

In view of the great interest shown in the question of those to whom allowances should be paid, will my right hon. and learned Friend expedite a decision on this matter?

Sir W. Jowitt

The matter will be dealt with in the White Paper.

Mr. Parker

Is the Minister aware that if you are to raise the school-leaving age, it will cost families a great deal more to keep their children until they go to work? Is it not essential that something should be done to ease that position?

Sir W. Jowitt

I quite agree that that is a relevant point.

Mr. Stephen

Is the Minister waiting until the children are old enough to receive the old age pension?

Mr. Shinwell

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that it is just 12 months since the Chancellor of the Exchequer promised that family allowances would be provided? How long must we wait?

Sir W. Jowitt

We hope that the White Paper will be ready about the end of February.

Miss Rathbone

Is the Minister aware that payment to the mother is almost universally recommended by experts and that all experience of Dominion and foreign schemes points to the fact that the money not only helps to raise the status of the mother but also helps to safeguard her and her children?

Sir W. Jowitt

I appreciate that point but I advise my hon. Friend to wait until publication of the White Paper.