HC Deb 15 February 1971 vol 811 cc1180-1
15. Mr. Latham

asked the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications if he will give a general direction to the Post Office Board to assist in the implementation of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, 1970, by making available copies in all post offices and sub-post offices, and accepting payment direct from local authorities in respect of subscribers eligible for assistance under the Act.

Mr. Chataway

No, Sir. A general direction would not be appropriate.

Mr. Latham

Will the right hon. Gentleman understand that there are hon. Members on both sides of the House who are desperately concerned that the provisions of this Act should be known? Will he not reconsider his reply and consult some of his right hon. Friends whose Departments seem to be having great difficulty in making local authorities and others aware of the provisions of the Act? Will he further see that the Post Office Board and its officials are aware that under the Act it is a responsibility of the local authorities to assist in the provision of telephones in this instance, not the Supplementary Benefits Commission? Perhaps he would like to look at correspondence which I have received which indicates that the Post Office is totally ignorant of the provisions of this Act.

Mr. Chataway

I am sure that the Post Office will take note of what the hon. Gentleman says but, as he will appreciate, it is particularly a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services.