HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 cc916-7
38. Sir E. Errington

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether the reciprocal agreement on social security with Norway is yet in force.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am glad to be able to tell the House that the social security agreement with Norway, which was signed last year, has now been ratified and will come into force on 1st April. The agreement will cover the benefits provided by the schemes of National Insurance, Industrial Injuries insurance, family allowances and National Assistance in this country and the corresponding benefits in Norway. In addition, medical treatment will be available under Norwegian health insurance for all British nationals in Norway, including tourists.

Sir E. Errington

Can my right hon. Friend state whether any financial payment passes in connection with this matter?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In both countries the payments are made to the nationals of the one country when they are in the other country. It is impossible to give a separate figure for the amount. It simply comes in the estimates for each social service of the particular country.

Mr. J. Griffiths

We are glad to have these reciprocal arrangements, but can the right hon. Gentleman help us by saying what countries are concerned? If he could show, in some appropriate form—perhaps the OFFICIAL REPORT would not be the right medium—the countries with which we already have reciprocal arrangements and those with which we have not, it would be interesting.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I will gladly take such opportunity as may suggest itself to the right hon. Gentleman or myself to cause that information to be available, because I agree with him that it is of considerable interest, and a very satisfactory story.

Mr. Griffiths

Since it is very often important to tourists, perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will indicate with what countries reciprocal arrangements exist in regard to the Health Service.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Off the cuff, I would say that we have reciprocal arrangements with Norway, and my recollection is that the Swedish agreement completely covers health. On the whole, health provisions are less frequent in these agreements than those for pensions and unemployment benefits. Perhaps the most satisfactory thing would be for the right hon. Gentleman to put down a Question, when I can give him a full answer.