27 MARCH 1942, Page 2

The T.U.C. and Family Allowances

The General Council of the Trades Union Congress bat declared in favour of family allowances, which it has resisted hitherto on the ground that their provision would militate against the policy of raising wages all round. But it has become in- creasingly difficult to maintain this position. Even if the general

wage-level were greatly increased, workers with large families would still have a low standard, and the children of the community would be those who would suffer most. There is absolutely no way of giving the juvenile population a fair start in life, and of giving married workers economic conditions as favourable as those of unmarried workers without family allowances or same equivalent. To provide them is the shortest way to the abolition of the worst kind of poverty. The conversion of the trade unions removes the principal obstacle. It is me, the General Council does not accept the principle of the doll" tributory system, which is workable, fair, and comparatively in' expensive, and has plumped for the system by which the State would- bear the whole cost. If the allowance per child were 15; only, covering 75 per cent. of the population, and for each au° under 15, the net cost, according to Mr. Seebohm Rowing', would be under £83,000,000 a year—a sum less than is nose being paid in subsidies to agriculture. This is not a large in proportion to the immense gain to the community. The_i removal of poverty should be a first charge on the nalicm income. •