HC Deb 25 June 1956 vol 555 cc27-8
38. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Health how many of the cars supplied to disabled persons have been replaced with new cars; and if he will review his policy on this subject with the object of ensuring greater uniformity of treatment.

Mr. Turton

None, Sir. The second part of the Question therefore does not arise.

Mr. Collins

But is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is twelve months since his predecessor announced his policy on the replacement of cars for the disabled and told us that replacement would then commence? Is he further aware that many of the disabled people running nine-year-old cars find the running and repair costs uneconomic at a time when they are more dependent than ever on the cars for mobility? Will he do something to alter the policy so that the cars can be replaced?

Mr. Turton

I think the hon. Gentleman is under a misapprehension. My right hon. Friend said on 5th December that he would not expect replacement to be necessary until a car had been used for at least eight years. In fact, none of the cars has been on issue for eight years, as the earliest was issued towards the end of 1948. I am looking into the question of how replacements should be conducted when it becomes necessary, and the main factor is whether a car can be economically repaired.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Is the Minister aware that there is a good deal of evidence of the expense of repairs of the old vehicles, both old tricycles and some cars, and would he give the matter very careful consideration?

Mr. Turton

Yes, Sir, I am aware of that fact and I am giving it consideration, but there is no lack of uniformity of treatment.