HC Deb 01 April 1957 vol 568 cc12-3W
109. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he is aware that an able-bodied man was summoned recently in a North London court for failing to contribute to the support of his nine young children that are costing the London County Council about £3,000 a year, and who, being unemployed in spite of conditions of full employment, was drawing £3 16s. 6d. a week National Assistance; and if he will amend his regulations so as to stop immediately the payment of all social benefits to such people from public funds, and set up a committee to investigate all abuses of the social services with the view to putting an end to them.

Miss Pitt

My right hon. Friend has seen a report of this case. He is not of course responsible for expenditure by the London County Council. So far as National Assistance is concerned, he has no reason to believe that there has been any abuse in a case which has some tragic features, and in which in view of the fact both that it concerns the private life of an individual and is still before the courts, he would prefer not to go into detail. If my hon. Friend would care to discuss it with me, I am at his disposal. But I can say now that it presents no features which would justify the action suggested in the last two parts of the Question.