HC Deb 11 November 1943 vol 393 cc1273-4
29. Mr. Tinker

asked the Minister of Health whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the findings of the Assistance Board bearing on the co-ordination of grants and allowances to the supplementary pensions to old age and widows' pensions?

Mr. E. Brown

Not yet, Sir. But the Government hope to be able to lay draft Regulations before the House early in the new Session.

Mr. Tinker

I hope that the Government will get a move on, as I have been waiting for months, and the matter is deferred repeatedly. Is the Minister aware that I want it to go forward?

Mr. Brown

My hon. Friend will understand that the legal responsibility here is not with the Government in the first instance but only in the second instance, and he must also understand that consolidation, simplication and modification of no fewer than 76 Regulations are forecast.

Mr. Kirkwood

Will the Minister be in a better position to make a statement early in the new Session? What does he mean by "early in the new Session"?

Mr. Brown

Just that.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the Minister guarantee that this question of old age pensions will be dealt with in the King's Speech?

Mr. Ness Edwards

Do we understand from the reply of the right hon. Gentleman that the delay has been due to the Assistance Board?

Mr. Brown

I have not said that, but my hon. Friend well knows, as we all know, how difficult and complex is the solution and simplification of these Regulations.

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