Where, owing to exceptional circumstances, the normal rate of allowance to the dependants of men serving with His Majesty's Forces is not sufficient to obviate serious hardship, the Military Service (Special Allowances) Advisory Committee is empowered to recommend the grant of special financial assistance. Applications for this purpose should be made to the appropriate paying officer of the Service Department concerned. The question of outdoor relief arises only while the grant of such special assistance is under consideration. I have no power to reimburse public assistance authorities expenditure incurred for this purpose.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some local authorities have spent considerable sums of money in order to ease destitution cases through the various Departments not meeting their obligations?
Would not the better way of tackling this question be to give these allowances; and is the right hon. Gentleman aware that every Member has had case after case brought to his attention where application has been made to the authority of whom he speaks, and no satisfaction has been given?
asked the Minister of Health the number of cases of dependants of members of His Majesty's Forces who were in receipt of public assistance committee relief at the week ended 7th October, or the date nearest to that time, "and, in view of the inadequate allowances paid to such dependants, will the Government relieve the local governing bodies of this responsibility by increasing the allowances to dependants to such a scale as will prevent the need for such applications?
With regard to the first part of the question, I regret that the information desired by the hon. Member is not available. With regard to the second part, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I have given to-day to the hon. Member of Kingston-upon-Hull, Central (Mr. Windsor).