HC Deb 20 February 1961 vol 635 cc20-1
33. Mrs. Hart

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will institute a sample inquiry, to be carried out after the National Health Service Contributions Bill has taken effect, into the standards of diet of old-age pensioners, the chronic sick, and the families of low wage-earners.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir. As the hon. Lady is no doubt aware, a continuous inquiry into the food consumption of all sections of the population is undertaken by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in the National Food Survey.

Mrs. Hart

Is not the Minister aware that the inquiries carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture are utterly inadequate as they relate to lower income groups, old-age pensioners and the chronic sick? In order to determine how far new needs have been created by Government policy in regard to the Health Service, is it not the Minister's duty to ensure that an adequate survey is carried out?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

First, the hon. Lady is quite wrong in what she said about the Food Survey, which makes special and separate investigation into what are classified as "pensioner households". As regards the second part of the hon. Lady's supplementary question, the Measure referred to in her Question does not affect either pensioners or the chronic sick, who do not pay these contributions anyway.