HC Deb 16 February 1959 vol 600 cc18-9
44. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of Health why a charge is made for lenses of children's spectacles where a parent prefers a frame other than one in the standard range and is prepared to pay for that frame.

Mr. R. Thompson

The National Health Service Act, 1951, gives no power to provide lenses without charge unless they are fitted to frames included in the range of children's standard frames.

Mr. Hynd

I know that; that was the point of the Question. Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that teenage school girls, in particular, often have strong views about the kind of frames that they want to wear? If the lenses are being provided free in any case, what does it matter in what frames they are fitted?

Mr. Thompson

There is a quite considerable question of cost here. As the hon. Gentleman undoubtedly knows, we have six standard types of children's frames. As to their suitability, I cannot add to what I said in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Corfield) the other day.