§ 7. 6Mr. WIGNALL
asked the Pensions Minister if he is aware that the artificial limbs supplied by the firm approved by the Ministry of Pensions are not giving satisfaction; that whereas in 1916 an allowance of, approximately, £28 10s. was made to officers who had lost a limb, the said allowance has now been reduced to £17 10s.; if he is aware that some officers, in order to procure a limb that gives comfort and satisfaction, are forced to pay the difference between the allowance made and the prices charged by certain firms; and will he have inquiries made into the matter?
§ Sir J. CRAIG
Approximately, twenty-five firms are employed as contractors for the supply of artificial limbs to disabled officers and men, and my right hon. Friend is advised that the limbs have reached a high degree of efficiency and comfort. An officer may elect either to enter a fitting hospital, where he may obtain, free of cost, the limb considered best for his case by the board of surgeons of the hospital, or to purchase a limb for himself, in which case he may be granted a sum varying in amount from £40 to £10 10s., according to the nature of the amputation. There has been no reduction since 1916 in the amounts so granted. It is the case that some officers purchase limbs that are more costly than those on the contract list, but I understand that the difference in cost is not justified by the difference in quality. The whole subject has recently been investigated by a Committee, and I am sending the hon. Member a copy of their Report.