HC Deb 11 April 1946 vol 421 cc2100-1
90. Mr. Yates

asked the Minister of Supply if he is aware that persons residing in Birmingham, for whom glasses have been prescribed by the Birmingham Eye Hospital five months ago, are still unable to obtain them; and if he will take steps to increase necessary supplies to meet such urgent cases in Birmingham.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. Leonard)

Delays up to five months have occurred in isolated cases only and have been due to the complex nature of the prescriptions. I am informed that the Hospital to which my hon. Friend refers is satisfied that, in the light of present conditions, it is receiving reasonable service and supplies.

Mr. Yates

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, according to a statement made by the Governor of this hospital a few days ago, there were no fewer than 144 cases outstanding from last year, and over 800 for the first quarter of this year and, according to information received today, one optician in Birmingham alone has 15,000 spectacles lying in his workshops, whereas the normal number should be 500?

Mr. Leonard

The production at the present time is close to normal requirements, and the lag is due to orders left over of a highly specialised nature. As labour accrues to this service, we will speedily remedy the defect.