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Family Allowance

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 17 May 1949

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36.

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether, in view of the fact that the 5s. family allowance may not be spent in the interests of the child, he will introduce legislation providing for this to be issued in tokens which can only be exchanged for articles, clothing or food which are for the benefit of the child or children concerned as intended by this grant.

The Family Allowances Act provides that the allowances shall be paid for the benefit of the family as a whole. I have no evidence which would justify me in seeking to remove from parents the responsibility of deciding for themselves how the money can best be used.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the children are benefiting so much that it is impossible to distinguish them in appearance from children of the highest station in the land, and will he consider sending a message of congratulation to the mothers for the splendid work they are doing on this small allowance?

All our evidence shows that the family allowance has been a boon to mothers and I think it has been a very great advantage to the nation, for the health of the children, by all statistics, was better last year than at any time in history.