HC Deb 28 July 1958 vol 592 cc947-8
50. Mr. Gough

asked the Minister of Health whether he will authorise the issue of a suitable mechanically propelled vehicle for Mr. Paul Bates, of Silver Birches, Itchingfield, Horsham, who is totally paralysed, who therefore needs a vehicle which will carry his respiratory apparatus and who otherwise has no means of leaving his home and looking after his various interests.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Richard Thompson)

I have written to my hon. Friend about this case and explained that while my right hon. and learned Friend cannot supply the special type of vehicle Mr. Bates wants, he could, if Mr. Bates buys one himself, pay an allowance towards its maintenance.

Mr. Gough

I thank my hon. Friend for his letter, which I received only a day OT so ago. Will he look into this matter again? As he knows, this is a very sad case. Is he aware that this young man has taken on a great deal of public work? To give one example, he carries out his correspondence on a typewriter which he works with his nose. As this is the only type of vehicle he could use, would the Minister reconsider issuing one without this man having to pay a contribution towards it?

Mr. Thompson

The seriousness of this sad case is very well appreciated. I have explained to my hon. Friend that we do not supply vehicles of this special type, or give grants towards the private purchase of cars, but that if Mr. Bates buys a Minibus for himself—as he originally proposed to do—we could pay him an allowance of £88 a year towards maintenance—the allowance which is paid to war pensioners who would have been eligible for Ministry cars but prefer to use their own.