HC Deb 10 March 1955 vol 538 cc613-4
46. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the Motion with reference to the case of Mr. John Kennedy Macleod, a disabled ex-Service man, standing in the name of the hon. Member for Caithness and Sutherland and of numerous other right hon. and hon. Members; and whether, in view of the recent transference of powers dealing with such cases, he will arrange for facilities for this Motion to be discussed at an early date.

The Prime Minister

The decision in the sad case of Mr. Macleod conforms with the rules followed by the Ministry of Health as well as by the Scottish Office. I have, however, after studying the discussion in this House and the undertaking then given by my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland that the case was open to reconsideration, come to the conclusion that, in view of Mr. Macleod's increasing age, it should be reconsidered now. At the same time my right hon. Friends the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland, who are in full accord with this answer, will consider the introduction of an element of latitude into the interpretation of the rules governing these borderline cases.

Sir D. Robertson

May I express my gratitude and that of all my hon. and right hon. Friends—on both sides of the House—who so warmly supported the Motion, and thank my right hon. Friend for his goodness in bringing about this very wise decision?

Mr. H. Morrison

May I join with the hon. Gentleman in expressing our satisfaction that the Prime Minister is seeking to get things straight? Would he be good enough to look into the allocation of duties between the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland? It does look as though two Ministers have a hand in this matter, and I wonder whether the Prime Minister would be good enough to look into that to see if the Parliamentary accountability and the Departmental accountability could be straightened out. It seems to be shared by two Ministers, which is unusual.

The Prime Minister

Yes, I will certainly give it my personal attention.