HC Deb 13 February 1919 vol 112 cc251-2

asked the Pensions Minister whether any decision has been come to in regard to the establishment of a Government factory for artificial limbs?


My right hon. Friend is examining the problem of artificial limb supply in all its bearings, and has appointed a Committee to consider and report on the following matters, namely: (1) Whether, and in what respects, the existing arrangements with regard to supply, fitting, repair, and re-fitting should be modified; (2) whether it is desirable that the Ministry should provide one or more institutions for the supply and repair of limbs, and should employ therein partially disabled or limbless men; and (3) whether the existing arrangements for the supply of surgical instruments are satisfactory, and, if not, bow they can be improved. The members of this Committee will be Mr. Herbert Guedalla (Chairman) and the hon. and gallant Members for the Reigate Division of Surrey and for Nelson and Colne, who have kindly consented to act, together with Sir Charles Kenderdine, K.B.E., and a leading surgeon.


asked the Pensions Minister how many men are at present waiting for the fitting of artificial limbs; how many artificial limbs are awaiting repairs; and how many men have been provided with spare artificial limbs, in accordance with promises made by the last Pensions Minister?


The number of men whose stumps are healed awaiting the fitting of artificial limbs on the 1st of this month was 2,832, and the number of men whose stumps are not sufficiently healed for the fitting to take place is 5,321. Arrangements for the repair of artificial limbs are now made by the local committees. From the returns available the arrangements appear to be working well, and I do not know of any arrears.

There has not yet been any general provision of spare limbs. The promise made by the late Minister of Pensions was, I may remind my hon. Friend, that the provision of spare limbs would be undertaken when the arrears in the supply of first limbs had been worked off. In urgent cases, however, such as those of men going abroad or of men in special need by reason of their particular occupations, spare limbs have already been provided. My reply to the preceding question will assure the hon. Member that the whole question is being carefully considered.


May I ask whether the local committees are helped in the responsibility placed upon them for the repair of artificial limbs by free access to the central place where such limbs are made?


My hon. Friend will have observed by the answer to the previous question that the whole of these matters are being or will be carefully inquired into by the committee to be set up.

Colanel YATE

Are these limbs supplied to officers?


Yes, Sir.