§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the amount of the intended Grant-in-Aid to be given to Irish county councils to assist in providing sanatoria treatment for uninsured persons, and to meet the cost of providing sanatoria treatment for insured persons, in so far as insurance contributions will be insufficient for the purpose?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
The intention is that the amount of the annual Grant should be one-half of the total net cost incurred, within reasonable limits, by or on behalf of a county or county borough council, or combinations of these bodies, in the treatment, according to a scheme approved by the Irish Local Government2268W Board, of tuberculosis in the area, of all persons, whether insured persons, dependants of insured persons, or persons who are neither themselves insured persons, nor their dependants, after deducting the amounts received from insurance committees out of the moneys available under the National Insurance Act for sanatorium benefit, and any sums received in respect of the treatment of non-insured persons or otherwise. A circular explaining the conditions of the Grant in detail is now in draft, and will shortly be issued by the Irish Local Government Board.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he realises that in Mr. Henry Hobhouse's letter written to him on behalf of the County Councils Association, in reference to sanatorium benefit, in July last it was stated that local authorities were prepared to bear 25 per cent, of the deficit arising from sanatorium maintenance schemes if the remainder were provided from other sources; that in his reply, published and circulated by the Local Government Board, the local authorities are by an error stated to be willing to contribute 25 per cent, of the whole annual cost of such schemes; that such authorities are, in fact, wholly unable to increase by this amount the already heavy burdens upon their ratepayers; and whether, under such circumstances, he can see his way to increase the Exchequer Grant so as to enable local authorities to provide sanatorium benefit to all persons within their areas seriously affected by tuberculosis?
§ Mr. LLOYD GEORGE
I think the hon. Member is under a misapprehension. The exact terms of the memorandum forwarded by Mr. Henry Hobhouse were as follows: "As regards the maintenance of insured persons, the association would desire to know what sums will be actually available for the county councils under Section 16 of the Act. They desire to express a strong opinion that such a sum should amount at least to 75 per cent. of the annual cost of maintenance of the institutions to be provided, and that a similar percentage should be provided by the Exchequer in respect of the maintenance of non-insured persons." This is exactly consistent with my letter of the 31st of July last, which stated: "I gathered that local authorities are prepared to bear 25 per cent, of the annual cost of schemes if the remainder were provided from other sources." In both 2269W statements the percentage taken was explicitly a percentage of the annual cost of the schemes and not of the deficit arising if the remainder were provided from other sources.