HC Deb 20 February 1941 vol 369 cc277-8
14. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the extreme urgency of the need to increase the benefits payable under the National Health Insurance, in particular, sickness, maternity and disablement benefits; by what amounts it is intended to increase the benefits; and whether he can make a statement on the matter, in view of the urgency?

Mr. E. Brown

I am not yet in a position to add to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member on 13th February, in answer to his previous Question on this subject.

Mr. Smith

I am aware that the right hon. Gentleman and his Ministry are very sympathetic towards this matter. If I put a similar Question on the Paper later, will the right hon. Gentleman be able to deal with it, in view of its extreme urgency?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will put it down.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman give serious consideration to the setting-up of a committee of inquiry into National Health Insurance in general, as it is many years since this was done?

17. Mr. Parker

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that pensions given to orphans benefiting under the National Health Insurance Orphans Pensions Act cease at 31st July following their sixteenth birthday; that this prevents many good boys and girls continuing their education beyond the school-certificate standard; and whether he can take steps to remove this injustice?

Mr. Brown

The 31st July is the usual date of the end of the school year in secondary schools. Accordingly, the continuance of an orphan's pension until that date normally avoids hardship, and I can give no undertaking to introduce the legislation which would be necessary to vary the date.

Mr. Parker

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of the progressive local authorities maintain orphans in their charge until the end of their educational life, and cannot the same advantages be given to orphans living with relatives?

Mr. Brown

I have made a note of that point.