§ 26. Mr. Thorne
asked the Minister of Health how many old age pensioners are now receiving relief from the public assistance committee?
§ The Minister of Health (Mr. Ernest Brown)
I regret that this information is not available. As my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, any assistance required by an old age pensioner in excess of his pension is now normally provided by way of a supplementary pension granted by the Assistance Board. The only forms of assistance now given to old age pensioners by public assistance committees are institutional relief, domiciliary medical relief and relief otherwise than in money given in cases of sudden or urgent necessity.
§ Mr. Thorne
I take it that my right hon. Friend knows that there is a very large number of old age pensioners in receipt of public assistance?
§ Mr. Silverman
In view of the fact that supplementary pensions are reducing such cases, would it not be possible to ascertain the figures for which the hon. Member has asked?
§ Mr. Brown
I will have a look at it, but it would affect a number of different authorities, and I am reluctant to put more work on them at this time than I can help.
§ 34. Mr. Parker
asked the Minister of Health whether the local medical officer of health can inspect cooking utensils and clothes used by old age pensioners and report upon them to the authorities granting supplementary pensions when so desired by the pensioners?
§ Mr. Brown
It is not part of the duties of a medical officer of health to inspect household cooking utensils and clothes in such cases.