HC Deb 27 April 1948 vol 450 cc195-6
27. Mrs. Leah Manning

asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware of the difficulties which ex-Service men are suffering due to the long time taken by private manufacturers to supply and repair artificial limbs; and whether he will consider having such work undertaken in Government factories.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions (Mr. Blenkinsop)

The average time now taken to supply artificial limbs is about 10 weeks; major repairs take about four weeks. There may, of course, be some difficult cases which take longer but there is in general no undue delay. If, however, the hon. Member has any particular case in mind and will let me know of it, I will gladly have it investigated. As regards the second part of the Question, the work is done by firms under contract to and closely associated with my Department. There are no Government factories which could undertake this specialised work.

Mrs. Manning

While expressing some surprise at the last part of my hon. Friend's answer, might I ask him whether he realises that there is a vast increase in the number of men, women and children needing artificial limbs and repairs to those limbs, and that this trade has hardly expanded at all; and does he not propose to do something about it, because having to wait four weeks for repairs to these artificial limbs causes great inconvenience to the injured parties?

Mr. Blenkinsop

I would only say that we have this position always in mind, particularly in view of future commitments, and the position is that we are rapidly overtaking any balance of orders there may be.

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