HC Deb 21 October 1952 vol 505 cc841-2
16. Mr. Gough

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the fact that the currency allowance to British delegates to the annual Congress of the International Union of Marine Insurance, held at Knocke-Le-Zout, Belgium, between 1st September and 6th September, was inadequate, as a result of which the British representatives at this important conference were placed in a humiliating position vis-à-vis the representatives of all the other nations present; and if he will increase the allowance for future congresses.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I understand that delegates to this conference were allowed £7 a day, which is the normal maximum rate for business conferences of this kind in Europe. Higher rates were allowed to certain officially appointed members of representative bodies because of their official duties. I cannot promise that a larger daily allotment will be available on a future occasion, although the amounts of exchange allowed to business travellers are now under review.

Mr. Gough

Would my right hon. Friend be prepared to look into one or two individual cases where less than £7 a day was given? Will he accept my word for it that this is the most important conference in regard to marine insurance in the year and that the people who attend it are responsible people who would not waste the extra allowance?

Mr. Butler

I will certainly look into any case, and it is because of one or two considerations in relation to the different amounts of allowance that the whole matter is now under review. This is the time to send me information.

Mr. H. Hynd

Is the Chancellor aware that £7 a day is more than he allowed to the delegates to the Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union?

Mr. Ellis Smith

It is as much as engineers get in a week.

Mr. Butler

It depends on the broadness of the definition with which one defines the word "business."