Oral Answers to Questions — Determination of Needs Act, 1941.

– in the House of Commons on 29th May 1941.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Pearson Mr Arthur Pearson , Pontypridd

asked the Minister of Labour what is the instruction to officers of the Assistance Board in the administration of the Determination of Needs Act, 1941, covering the interpretation of a household; and will he indicate the change between the previous and the 1941 instructions?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The term "household" is not defined in the Act, and the Board's instructions to their officers are therefore to the effect that it should be given its ordinary meaning, and that a person should not be treated as a member of a household if it can be shown that he is paying a reasonable sum for a separate room or rooms and making his own arrangements for food and possibly fuel and light. They have also been told that a person who has been evacuated because of the war and intends to return to his old home when he can should normally not be treated as a member of the household where he is temporarily living. No change in this respect was necessitated by the Determination of Needs Act, 1941.

Photo of Mr Arthur Pearson Mr Arthur Pearson , Pontypridd

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the determinations now being made an unnecessarily narrow interpretation is being placed on this instruction?