HC Deb 19 November 1951 vol 494 cc16-7
33. Mr. George Jeger

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he will take steps to extend the payment of family allowances so as to include the first child.

34. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of National Insurance when he expects to increase the family allowances.

Mr. Peake

The answer to the first question is, "No, Sir"; and to the second that I have no such proposals in mind.

Mr. Jeger

Is the Minister aware that this answer will cause considerable disappointment in my constituency where a number of people were misled into voting for my opponent in the last Election owing to the fact that his election address contained a pledge that a Conservative Government would extend the family allowance to the first child? Is the Minister further aware that my opponent received the blessing and commendation of the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Home Secretary who, I am quite sure, will be equally disappointed?

Mr. Peake

I can only accept responsibility for the official proposals of my party.

Mr. Shinwell

Does the right hon. Gentleman say that there was no suggestion by the Conservative Party that there might be a readjustment of subsidies and an increase in family allowances, and are we to understand from his answer that the Government are going to have second thoughts on this subject also?

Mr. Peake

If the right hon. Gentleman relates this question to the question of food subsidies, that is quite hypothetical at the present moment.

Mr. Lewis

Is it the intention to review family allowances and food subsidies with the Ministry of Food to see if there is to be an increase in family allowances in accordance with the promise made in the Tory election manifesto?

Mr. Peake

I have nothing further to add to the answer I have given.

Air Commodore A. V. Harvey

Would it not be more helpful if hon. Members opposite made it quite clear that it was not the Labour Government who brought in family allowances in the first place?