HC Deb 13 February 1947 vol 433 cc513-4
33. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Health if he will give, for the last available date, the numbers of men staying in casual wards and say how many of these are ex-Servicemen.

Mr. Bevan

The number of casuals relieved on the night of 27th-28th December, 1946, was 1,193. I do not know how many of these were ex-Servicemen, but of all the casuals relieved in the quarter to 31st December, 37 per cent. were ex-Servicemen.

Mr. Lipson

Is it not a fact that these figures show a considerable increase? Will the right hon. Gentleman say what steps he is taking to deal with this matter?

Mr. Bevan

I do not quite follow what the hon. Member means I do not know whether these men were ex-Servicemen or not. Over this period, in most parts of the country, there was plenty of employment.

Mr. Nicholson

Is it not a fact that a date up to Christmas would not give a fair figure?

Mr. Bevan

I do not think it does.

Captain Marsden

In order to be sure whether they are ex-Servicemen, are they asked for identity cards?

Mr. Bevan

I will make inquiries.

Mr. Vane

Does "ex-Servicemen" mean men who at any time have served in His Majesty's Forces, or who served in the last war?

Mr. Bevan

At any time.

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