asked the Minister of National Insurance the amount paid to the wives and children of husbands in desertion during 1946, 1947 and 1948 respectively; and what amounts have been recovered.
I regret the information required is not available.
Is my right hon. Friend really informing the House that the country is willing to pay out these amounts to the deserted wives without even taking up any accounts?
No. My hon. Friend asked about the amount paid in 1946, 1947 and 1948, but the Assistance Board has been responsible for assistance generally only since 5th July of last year. We have no figures about the earlier years, and we shall not have figures about this year until some time later.