HC Deb 25 May 1976 vol 912 cc257-8
10. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will announce the rate at which child benefit will be introduced next year.

Mr. Ennals

I shall be made a statement later this afternoon.

Mrs. Castle

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I find that reply rather ominous and that I shall be trying to catch your eye, Mr. Speaker, when my right hon. Friend makes his statement?

Mr. Ennals

I cannot understand why my right hon. Friend finds the prospect of a statement ominous. If there were to be the introduction of the scheme of which the House approved there would clearly have to be a statement to the House, and it would be surprising if I were not the Secretary of State to do it.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Since the right hon. Member for Blackburn (Mrs. Castle) failed for so long to give the figures for child benefit, why should she find it ominous when the Secretary of State proposes to do so?