HC Deb 01 November 1954 vol 532 cc26-7
44. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what emergency plans he has for providing extra Christmas fare for pensioners and people in receipt of other insurance benefits.

Mr. Peake

I do not regard arrangements of this kind as appropriate to an insurance scheme.

Mr. Thomas

Is the Minister not aware that he is the only person who can ensure a bearable Christmas for our old folk, and that it is not exploiting the situation in any way when we say that there is real need among these old people, which everyone recognises except himself?

Mr. Peake

I should have thought that what I have already said about the National Assistance Board would have assured the hon. Member that the Board was doing a humane and kindly job; but I do not think it would be at all appropriate to an insurance scheme to introduce gifts of Christmas fare, and so on.