HC Deb 31 July 1939 vol 350 cc1930-2
39. Mr. Day

asked the Minister of Pensions the number of mechanically-propelled tricycles supplied by the Ministry to disabled men, and at present being used by them; and are all expenses necessary for the upkeep of these vehicles borne by the Ministry?

The Minister of Pensions (Sir Walter Womersley)

The number of mechanically-propelled tricycles in use is 2,699. The cost of maintaining these vehicles as supplied to the pensioners is borne by the State on the basis of fair wear and tear.

Mr. Day

Have these pensioners the right to apply to the Ministry of Pensions for a new vehicle when their existing ones are out of date?

Sir W. Womersley

They can apply.

40. Mr. R. C. Morrison

asked the Minister of Pensions whether any arrangements have been made for evacuation in time of emergency of badly disabled ex-service men living in vulnerable areas?

Sir W. Womersley

I would remind my hon. Friend that arrangements under the Government evacution scheme as a whole are under the general direction of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health. It will be for the local authority to make such arrangements as it may find practicable for the evacuation of adult blind and crippled persons who may desire to be removed.

41. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Minister of Pensions the respective duties of the Standing Joint Committee for Ex-service Questions and the Central Advisory Committee; when these two committees last met; what request he has received for them to be called together; and whether he proposes to do so?

Sir W. Womersley

As regards the Standing Joint Committee, I would refer the hon. Member to the full answer given by my right hon. Friend the First Commissioner of Works on 10th May last, of which I am sending him a copy. The Central Advisory Committee which was formed in 1922 has the duty under Section 3 of the War Pensions Act, 1921, to consider any matters that may be put before them by the Minister for their advice. The committee met last in 1927. No occasion has, I understand, arisen since that date for summoning a further meeting of the committee, but I shall not hesitate to call the members together if any matter of sufficient consequence should arise on which I find it desirable to have their advice. I may add that the meetings I am holding with representatives of War pensions committees in all parts of the country, and with the principal officers of the British Legion, are giving me ample opportunity of informing myself as to pension difficulties of all kinds.

Mr. Smith

Does not the Minister appreciate that it would be a good thing if one of these committees were called in to discuss how best to deal with some of the human derelicts in this country who are getting no pensions?

Sir W. Womersley

I am consulting those who have a practical knowledge of these questions and all matters raised in the House by hon. Members, and on matters on which I want to acquaint myself. I shall not hesitate to call the committee together if I find my sources of information are not sufficient.

Mr. Smith

Will the Minister be good enough to give us the benefit of these consultations in the form of a White Paper?

Sir W. Womersley

The matter can be raised by questions in this House.

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