§ Mr. F. ROBERTS
asked the Minister of Pensions (1) what was the total and average expenses of meetings of War Pensions Committees held during the three months ended 31st December, 1922; what was the estimated expenditure for meetings during the current financial year; what is the estimate for this purpose for the financial year 1923–24;
(2) the name of any War Pensions Committee whose expenses for one meeting amounted to £200, and will he give the main items which make up this total?
§ Captain CRAIG:
The average cost of a single meeting of those Committees which met during the three months ending in December last, is approximately £5 10s., but the period was one of transition from the old system to the new, and some 2122W Committees probably did not meet as frequently as they would otherwise have done. I have not been able, in the short time available, to ascertain the individual Committees, the cost of whose meetings materially exceeds the average, but in areas where long-distance travelling is involved the average cost of a meeting is obviously considerably higher than the general average quoted. In making the statement quoted by the hon. Member, as to the possible cost of a meeting of a Committee, I regret to find that I was misinformed. The statement should have been to the effect that the cost of the meetings in a single area in a year may amount to £100 and upwards. The average estimated cost of meetings, including the administrative and clerical expenses involved, is £94 per area. The cost would obviously be higher if the number of meetings were increased. The estimated expenditure on the attendance of members (not including clerical and administrative expenses) at meetings for the year 1922–23 is £10.000, and for 1923–24, £5,000.