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Personal Case, Wallsend

Volume 466: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1949

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asked the Minister of National Insurance if he is aware that a married woman with four children applied for national assistance on the 18th June, 1949, as she was left with no money to buy food for her children, but was informed by the official at Wallsend, that she could have no assistance until Monday, 20th June; and if he will have this case thoroughly investigated and inform the Wallsend National Assistance officers that more sympathetic treatment was needed.

I have asked the Board to inquire into this matter and will write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Is the Minister aware that this applicant had to go to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children where he got a better reception than at the National Assistance office? Is he also aware that there is a general feeling of dissatisfaction with regard to the spirit in which National Assistance is administered in Wallsend? Will he consider changing these officers for the benefit of Wallsend?

I have heard of no complaints. This complaint was put down in the form of a Question, and it is my duty first of all to inquire from the Board whether the facts are right or wrong. I will reply to the hon. Member as soon as I am able.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I had to intervene in a personal case at Wallsend and that after the intervention a different attitude was adopted, which all indicates carelessness on the part of the officials?

This is the first complaint I have had. I was not aware that there had been any dissatisfaction.