HC Deb 10 October 1946 vol 427 c343
18. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister or Health whether he will make a statement on the present policy of the Government in regard to day nurseries.

Mr. Bevan

It is the Government's desire that day nurseries established during the war should be maintained wherever there is a recognised need for them, and a special Exchequer grant is now available to enable local authorities to continue, and, if necessary, to extend, their wartime arrangements where there is a continued demand for women in essential industries in their area. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a Circular 221/45, addressed to local authorities, which sets out the Government's views on the future of this and related services.

Mr. Wyatt

Is it not a fact that the Government grant to wartime nurseries has recently been reduced by 50 per cent.?

Mr. Bevan

It is a fact, as has been explained on many occasions, that the Government do not take the view that the national economy can be properly safeguarded with 100 per cent. grants to local authorities for continuing services.

Mr. John Lewis

Can my right hon. Friend say what percentage of the day nurseries have closed down owing to this lower grant?

Mr. Bevan

If the hon. Member will put a Question down, I will give him a reply.

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