HC Deb 22 April 1947 vol 436 cc787-8
19. Mr. D. J. Williams

asked the Minister of National Insurance what steps he is taking to strengthen the staff of the Silicosis Medical Board in South Wales.

Mr. J. Griffiths

I am glad to be able to inform my hon. Friend that further steps were taken at the beginning of this year to strengthen the staff of the Board in South Wales when six new appointments were made, two of them to fill vacancies caused by resignation. There are now 15 doctors attached to the Board in South Wales as compared with 11 a year ago and eight two years ago.

20. Mr. D. J. Williams

asked the Minister of National Insurance the number of applications for certificates received by the Silicosis Medical Board from coalminers in South Wales and the numbers who were certified totally and partially disabled for the first quarter of 1946 and 1947, respectively.

Mr. J. Griffiths

During January to March, 1946, 2,312 applications were received and 2,424 cases were dealt with by the Medical Board, of which 1,230 were certified to be suffering from pneumoconiosis. The corresponding figures for this year are: applications received 1,520, cases dealt with 2,545, of which 840 were certified.

Mr. Williams

Can my right hon. Friend say when he will be in a position to give some reason for this remarkable and welcome decrease in the number of applicants?

Mr. Griffiths

I am having a special inquiry made. The reduction is very substantial, and I hope to be able to indicate that there is a "turn of the tide," and that we are beginning to conquer this dread disease.