HC Deb 12 July 1965 vol 716 cc22-3
22. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she will make a statement on the progress being made in the study now under way concerning the problems of old people; and what response has been made to the questionnaire put to retirement pensioners.

Miss Herbison

Out of over 10,000 pensioners in the sample whom we wished to interview, 9 per cent. refused to co-operate or gave only partial information, and less than 4 per cent. could not be contacted. The replies are still being analysed and I hope to announce the main findings shortly.

Mr. Hamilton

Can my right hon. Friend give an undertaking that, in view of the fact that this will be a very important social document, it will be available publicly to anyone who wants to read it?

Miss Herbison

Certainly. Once the report comes to me from the National Assistance Board I hope that there will be some publication so that people can realise what is happening to the old people.

Mr. Manuel

In connection with this study, is my right hon. Friend aware that she could get invaluable help from those dedicated people who are members of old folks' welfare committees? They are in touch with every problem affecting old people. Would she consider contacting these national agencies, in order to seek their help in connection with this study?

Miss Herbison

From the figures I have given, about 85 per cent. of old people have co-operated. I think that all of us must be delighted with that figure. The National Assistance Board at all times used these welfare organisations for old people, and in a later Answer I will be telling of what we hope to do.