HC Deb 30 November 1939 vol 355 cc268-9W
Mr. Lunn

asked the Minister of Health whether parents of evacuated children will be expected to make full payment for such children at Christmas and for Bank Holidays, as many of them feel it will be a hardship if they have to do so?

Mr. Elliot

Billeting payments have been assessed with due regard to the circumstances of the parent, and I fear it is not possible to make temporary alterations as suggested.

Mr. V. Adams

asked the Minister of Health whether the Government will permit schoolmasters in charge of evacuated children to arrange a holiday week or fortnight in some suitable locality during the Christmas holidays and will enable such schoolmasters to be paid the billeting allowances for that period which would normally be paid in respect of such children to the householders in reception areas?

Mr. Elliot

My hon. Friend Ns ill recognise that there are considerable difficulties about an arrangement of this kind, but it may be possible in suitable cases for the schoolmaster to make a satisfactory arrangement, in conjunction with the billeting officer and the householders in the area where the children are at present billeted, for the allowances to be paid by the householders to the schoolmaster and for the boys to return to their billets after the holiday.

Sir G. Fox

asked the Minister of Health whether he will give more detailed information, especially affecting expense, of the Government's offer to pay the reasonable cost of premises or equipment for organised communal activity?

Mr. Elliot

As is stated in the memorandum which my hon. Friend has in mind, if a local authority considers that some expenditure on premises and equipment is necessary, I should be prepared to agree to the reasonable cost being borne by the evacuation account, provided the proposals are submitted and approved by the senior regional officer on my behalf. It is not possible to give more detailed information which would apply generally. Proposals will differ and will have to be considered in the circumstances of the case, but if a local authority is in any uncertainty about a particular proposal they will no doubt discuss it with the senior regional officer.