HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 cc884-5
18. Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give the number per 1,000 of registered physically handicapped persons in rank order for each local authority for the period 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70 and 1970–71.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to him on 15th March, 1971. As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security said on 23rd November, 1971, it has become apparent that publication of figures in this form is liable to be misleading. My right hon. and learned Friend does not consider that he would be justified in supplying further figures as requested.—[Vol. 813, c. 255; Vol. 826, c. 320.]

Mr. Carter-Jones

Is the hon. Gentleman suggesting that the figures which he gave me 12 months ago are misleading? Is he aware that they appear in the OFFICIAL REPORT and have not been withdrawn? Is he also aware of the significance of what he said? If we have an accountancy system, and local authorities have to account for the manner in which their money is spent, surely it is a simple matter to extract the figures? Is he not hiding, shielding and protecting those local authorities who are not willing to implement the "Alf Morris" Act as this House intended?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The answer to the first and last of the four questions is "No". The answer to the second question is "Yes". The answer to the third question is that registration of the disabled is not a condition for the provision of a service, and local authorities adopt widely differing practices with regard to it. Registration is, therefore, no measure either of services or of incidence of handicap.