HC Deb 12 March 1953 vol 512 cc1484-5
12. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour to make a statement on the terms of reference and membership of the proposed Committee on the Disabled.

Sir W. Monckton

My right bon. Friends the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland have, jointly with myself, decided to set up a Committee with the following terms of reference: To review in all its aspects the existing provision for the rehabilitation, training and re-settlement of disabled persons, full regard being had to the need for the utmost economy in the Government's financial contribution, and to make recommendations. I am happy to say that Lord Piercy has accepted the Chairmanship. In addition I have appointed a representative of employers and a representative of workers after consultation with the British Employers' Confederation and the Trades Union Congress. These will be Mr. G. R. K. Lee and Dame Florence Hancock, D.B.E. I hope to be able to announce the names of the remaining members of the Committee within a few days.

Miss Ward

Whilst thanking my right hon. and learned Friend for the very sympathetic way in which he has met representations from all quarters of the House about the establishment of this Committee, would I be in order in assuming that all aspects of this very important matter are covered in the terms of reference, and that some medical representation other than the Government representation will be included on the Committee in the names subsequently to be published?

Sir W. Monckton

As to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, the words of the terms of reference include: To review in all its aspects the existing provision … and so forth. As to the second part of her question, I think it would be better, if I may suggest it, not to discuss the membership until hon. Members have the names before them.

Mr. Woodburn

Will this Committee cover industrial subjects and military subjects, since under the new arrangement the pensioners are to be transferred for this purpose to the Health Service? Will it cover all aspects of the population, or be limited to certain people?

Sir W. Monckton

It is not intended to limit it in any way except, as it says in the terms of reference, to disabled persons.

Mr. Woodburn

Of all kinds? Sir W. Monckton: Of all kinds.

Mr. Robens

Will this inquiry cover all those people whom the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act now covers?

Sir W. Monckton

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Yates

Does that answer mean that the vast body of disabled persons confined to their homes and unable to go out will be included?

Sir W. Monckton


Dr. Stross

Will the term "disabled" also include those congenitally disabled from birth injuries, such as spastics?

Sir W. Monckton


Mr. Burden

Will my right hon. and learned Friend give consideration to using the services of the present pensioners' welfare service in order to visit those people who may be so disabled as not to be able to get about?

Sir W. Monckton

The suggestion of my hon. Friend will be one which will have to be considered by the Committee. I would not wish to give them a directive.