HC Deb 07 July 1937 vol 326 cc361-2W
Major Rayner

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to the statements of expenditure in the last issue of the Return of Expenditure on Social Services (Cmd. 5310), and whether he will consider the desirability of including the following items in the next issue of the Return: expenditure on agricultural settlements, expenditure on the blind, expenditure in the case of agricultural workers' insurance, and the cost of schemes for the relief of distressed areas stimulating the provision of work like that of State-aided relief works; and whether he will consider the desirability of adding to the letterpress of the Return a complete statement of the total expenditure since the armistice of each of the items contained in the Return?

Lieut-Colonel Colville

Expenditure on unemployment insurance for agricultural workers will appear in the Return when it relates to a year in which the new scheme was in force. I think it would be undesirable to elaborate the present Return by inclusion of the remaining items to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers. Some of them are not similar in nature to the services already covered, while the others are hardly susceptible of sufficient accuracy of definition to make them suitable for inclusion in an annual return which is mainly in tabular form. To compile a complete statement of cost since the armistice would, I fear, involve a considerable amount of labour which would not, in my opinion, be justified.