HC Deb 13 July 1916 vol 84 cc545-6
81 Mr. BOOTH

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if the Treasury Committee on National Health Insurance has directed its attention to the parts of the original Act which are inoperative; what evidence is being taken as to the loss to approved societies through bad sanitation, unhealthy employment, and slum housing accommodation, respectively; whether the terms of reference were intended to rule these subjects out from the purview of Sir Gerald Ryan's Committee; when the Government intend to set up a body to fully inquire into the working of the Insurance Acts; (2) if the Treasury Committee on National Health Insurance has considered the question of medical service and the supply of drugs and medicines to insured persons; (3) if the Treasury Committee on Health Insurance has considered the question of sanatorium, benefit for insured consumptives; and (4) if the Treasury Committee has considered the use and necessity of the county and district committees set up under the National Insurance Act, or if it has taken evidence upon the working of the National Commissioners and their relation to the Joint Committee?


My hon. Friend will see how far the Committee has taken into consideration the questions to which he refers when its labours are completed, and I think he must be content to await its Reports. The terms of reference will be found in. Cd. 8251. I am unable to say what further inquiries, if any, into matters connected with or bearing on the National Insurance Acts may be found necessary at a later date. No such inquiry is contemplated at present.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that when those important subjects, in which the public are so interested, have been raised in this precious Committee, the chairman has ruled them out of order on account of the limited reference to the Committee?


That is what the Committee is for.


What is the use of referring one to the documents?


I am afraid I am not personally familiar with the proceedings of the Committee.


Would it not be simpler, now that the Irish question is settled, to have the Minister for War to settle the insurance matter?