HC Deb 20 March 1951 vol 485 c2271
1. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Local Government and Planning to what extent he has taken over from the Minister of Health responsibility for questions arising from the unofficial circular of 19th January last to the clerks of local authorities authorising them to pay on application fares and subsistence allowances for any person summoned to Buckingham Palace for an investiture, and for two of his friends, and to recover the amount from the Treasury; and whether, in view of the need for economy, he will stop these payments except on evidence of need.

The Minister of Local Government and Planning (Mr. Dalton)

I shall be responsible from 31st March next, but I shall not depart from the precedent laid down 10 years ago of making contributions to the expenses of persons whom His Majesty has been graciously pleased to honour.

Mr. Keeling

Was not that a war-time precedent, and are not the people who receive these honours usually able and willing to pay their own expenses? Is this not a quite unnecessary extravagance?

Mr. Dalton

No, Sir, in my opinion it is not an unnecessary extravagance. It is a small expense, which can be well afforded to persons who have received these marks of distinction.