HC Deb 09 April 1973 vol 854 cc1019-78

7.15 p.m.

Mr. Jack Ashley (Stoke-on-Trent, South)

I beg to move, That this House deplores the long delay in ensuring full implementation of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, Her Majesty's Government's failure to arrange a parliamentary debate on Reports presented to the House under the Act, and the continuing lack of provision for the chronically sick and disabled. We have dragged a reluctant Government to this debate for three reasons: first, because they have failed to ensure the full implementation of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act; secondly, because they have failed to ensure the full employment of disabled people; thirdly, because they have failed to provide a disablement income for all disabled people, particularly for disabled housewives.

The Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act is a major instrument of social change. It was piloted through the House of Commons by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythen-shawe (Mr. Alfred Morris). It is as a result of his dedication and great skill that the Act now stands as a great monument—an Act to which all disabled people in Britain now look. They have looked to the Government for the past two-and-a-half years to implement the Act, and it has been a very patchy implementation. I recognise that much has been achieved by the Act, but its potential has by no means been fulfilled and the hopes of thousands of disabled people are now being frustrated by the failure of local authorities and the Government to ensure full implementation.

I am not referring to slightly disabled people, for those covered by the Act are profoundly disabled. Many of them are unable to walk, at least, not without great difficulty; some are chair-bound; some are bound to their beds; some need assistance all the time. These are people in great need of all the facilities that can be offered by the Act.

How far have the proud aspirations of the sponsors of the Act been fulfilled? We have all seen the report by Miss Pat Healy in The Times today on the report of the Central Council for the Dis- abled—and splendid reports both are. I am delighted with the massive increase in the provision of total expenditure by some local authorities. It is important— and the Secretary of State will be anxious that I should do this—to pay tribute to those local authorities that have increased their local expenditure, and I do so gladly, because the perspective of the debate is important.

It does not seem very long since I was criticising Coventry. However, in the last financial year Coventry increased its expenditure on the disabled 11-fold. That is a magnificent achievement, and Coventry should be warmly congratulated. Salford increased its expenditure sevenfold. Seven local authorities have trebled their expenditure, and 274 local authorities have doubled their expenditure. We should pay tribute to those local authorities.

However, study of the report of the Central Council for the Disabled reveals that 19 local authorities spent less than in the previous year. If that allegation is borne out, it is shocking that any local authority should reduce its expenditure at a time when the Government have increased the rate support grant. It is inexcusable at a time when other local authorities are increasing their expenditure. It is shocking and inexcusable that disabled people are deprived of vital services and that the services which are provided vary according to where they live.

The directors of social services have today challenged the figures of the central council. They say that some of the figures are inaccurate. I know that my right hon. and hon. Friends, and Conservative Members, would wish to chal. lenge those allegations of inaccuracy. All hon. Members recognise that given the reorganisation of local government there must inevitably be some changes in the compilation of accounts. I recognise that. The Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants today issued a statement in which it said: … incorrect conclusions can result from unqualified comparisons drawn from these two publications. No one is making unqualified comparisons between the two reports. If the figures are wrong, the directors of social services and hon. Members should not blame the Central Council for the Disabled. The treasurers should be blamed, because the information given to the institute is supplied by the treasurers. If there are any inaccuracies in the report, let the borough councils and the city councils accept responsibility. If the figures are not strictly comparable, why should they be published? Let us suppose that the central council had not issued its report. Would the Government have drawn attention to the difficulty of comparing like with unlike, or would the great British public have been misled if, in fact, the figures are misleading?

If the county councils and the borough councils are giving information which is of dubious validity, they cannot blame the central council. I am prepared to accept that there may be some minor discrepancies in the figures, but that in no way invalidates the main conclusions of the report, which are that some local authorities have not done as well as others.

It is that lack of uniformity of progress that is at the heart of the criticism of local authorities. Coventry has increased its expenditure on the disabled 11-fold and Salford has made a sevenfold increase. If we accept minor differences, the fact is that those local authorities have not increased their total expenditure to anything like the level of the best local authorities. That is a cause for deep concern.

If there is confusion, the people who are responsible are not only the treasurers, who gave the information, but the Government. The Government have been asked by the Opposition to present information on expenditure, on the number of people who are registered and on the number who are disabled. The Government have consistently refused to give that information. I recognise that directors of social services are civil servants and that they are seeking to protect their political masters. Some of my best friends are civil servants. It is important to realise that civil servants, in their allegations against the central council, have been making some outrageous comments, which, if interpreted carefully, do not reflect very well on the directors or on the city councillors and aldermen who decide these issues. It was said by one director that the figures can give a false impression. That director then said that a social centre for the disabled had been lost to a road works scheme. I can imagine that director telling the disabled, "I am sorry that there are no wheelchairs, no meals-on-wheels and no bedpans, but we have a marvellous bypass for the busy motorists." If directors of social services acknowledge that some of the money voted to go to the disabled is going to build bypasses or sewers, it is admirable that they should be honest and describe the information in public.

The House should be under no illusion that there are some discrepancies in the accounts given by the various directors of social services. I regret to say that one director said: I assume that there has been much less demand by the disabled in my area. What a marvellous statement. The House is trying to help disabled people. The all-party group meets practically every week and uncovers a vast reservoir of human suffering. Disabled people are found whom we did not know about, yet that director says that there has been much less demand by disabled people. It is incredible that people can say that kind of thing. Some directors have said that they are not bothered by the central council's figures. However, in the area of the director who assumed that there was much less demand I would guess that the disabled persons who are receiving the services are bothered.

If we choose to disregard the central council's report, there is a very important report issued by the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases. That report was issued to give information about the implementation of the Alf Morris Act. The House will know that the chairman of that fund is one of our most distinguished military generals-Field Marshal Lord Harding—and the director is Duncan Guthrie. Those two men have made a massive contribution to the welfare of all our disabled people.

The noble Lord and Mr. Guthrie have been diplomatic—I find that unusual for a soldier—and have said that their report should not be interpreted as a criticism of local authorities. Those of us who are under no such constraint will be able to disregard that aspect of their report. Their findings are a formidable indictment of the way in which local authorities are implementing the Alf Morris Act.

According to the report of the national fund, no less than one-third of the local authorities are not estimating, or are not properly estimating, the number of disabled people in their areas. They are not only fitting themselves with self-imposed blinkers, but they are breaking the law because, as my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe knows, it is clearly stated in the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act that it is the duty of local authorities to discover the numbers of disabled people in their areas.

The Government should say that they propose to insist that the law must be observed, because there is no point in their being tough with trade unionists and not with councils which are breaking the law. Not all the figures have yet been published. The Government should publish the detailed figures this year, not next year.

The Government are also being coy about the number of people who are registered. The Secretary of State for Social Services and I have had a long dispute about the register and I do not propose to elaborate on it. I merely say that the survey by the national fund shows that the number of people on the register has increased from 200,000 only to 305,000. Yet the Government's own survey estimated that there were 1,129,000 severely and appreciably disabled persons. That means that after nearly three years of office of the present Government, apparently implementing the Act, or helping local authorities to implement it, 800,000 disabled people are still not registered by local authorities. What a marvellous record by the Government!

These variations in the number of disabled people registered by local authorities are deplorable. The highest figure of registration is 25 per thousand, whereas the lowest is only nine per thousand. The indolence and indifference of some local authorities has been encouraged by the Government because their circulars went out of their way to let the local authorities know that full registration was not a legal requirement of the Act.

It is also important to note that these variations among local authorities are not confined to Section 1 of the Act. They relate to all sections of the Act. For example, some local authorities devote to the provision of home helps only one-quarter of the amount devoted by others; some devote to transport only one-sixth of what is devoted by others; in adaptations to houses, some devote only one-twelfth of what is devoted by others; for telephones—the lifeline of disabled persons—some devote only one-twenty-fifth of what is devoted by the best local authorities.

We see some directors of social services, backed by niggardly, backward and indolent councils, saying that telephones are not really necessary or vital for the disabled, and recommending flashing lights or sirens, or even, in some cases, whistles. Imagine a meeting of severely disabled people being told, with the director of social services saying, "If you are in trouble do not call for the ambulance or your doctor—just turn your house into a lighthouse or a police car and hope that some passer-by will either see or hear you and come in and help. If no one does, that is bad luck on you." That kind of thing is not good enough. It is outrageous that the Government are permitting this shocking variation in provision for the disabled.

The Government do not allow such disparity in educational provisions. The Government are rightly quick to step in and insist that the educational standards of a bad education authority should be raised to the level applied all over the country. If the Government are not prepared to allow bad educational standards they should not allow bad standards for disabled people in different areas. The Government are applying a double standard to two sets of service, and that is quite wrong. Their record is nothing to boast about.

Apart from a couple of silly circulars they have sent to local authorities, the Government's excuse for inaction is that they do not wish to dictate to local authorities. They say that they respect local autonomy. We should bear that phrase in mind. I ask the House to remember that it was the Opposition who were trying to defend local autonomy when the Government were bulldozing the Housing Finance Act through the House. We then asked the Government to remember local autonomy if some councils tried to protect their tenants from rent increases, but the Government did not respect local autonomy. They said "We will send in a commissioner"—really, a commissar—"to take over the functions of a local authority which will not carry out its responsibilities."

That, in fact, is what is being done under the Housing Finance Act, and it is entirely wrong to apply that standard to local authorities not prepared to implement an Act to increase rents of council tenants while at the same time refusing to take similar action against local authorities which are not prepared to fight on behalf of disabled people.

I believe that the Government should establish an inspectorate on the same lines as the inspectorate in the education service so as ensure standardisation of the provisions for the disabled, and that they should back it up by establishing commissioners on the lines of the commissioners under the Housing Finance Act in order to implement the inspectorate's findings. I speak for the Opposition when I say that if the Government bring forward that kind of legislation, we will support it if it is designed to ensure that the backward local authorities ignoring the disabled are brought into line.

The Government should also accept some responsibility for publicising the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act because it is important to recognise that some local authorities are reluctant to publicise it themselves because it would involve a burden on the rates. But by saving ratepayers' cash by savings on domiciliary services, they are adding a burden on the taxpayers by institutionalising disabled people.

I have spoken long enough, and I see that I have got through only half my speech. I will therefore draw to a conclusion. The Government are continually talking about having increased the rate support grant for the disabled, and I would like the Secretary of State to answer some questions.

First, is the right hon. and learned Gentleman sure that all the money so allocated for the disabled is being used for the disabled by local authorities? If he is not sure, what checks are being made by the Government to ensure that it is? Secondly, what action does the right hon. and learned Gentleman propose to take to find out whether local authorities are building bypasses rather than allocat- ing money for adaptations for wheel chairs and other services for the disabled? Thirdly, will he demand a full account of all the cash spent since the Government's welcome announcement about the increase in the rate support grant for disabled people? Fourthly, will he ensure that where a local authority is found guilty of what I would call in this context misappropriation of funds, the money is reclaimed and re-channelled back to provision for disabled people? Finally, will he recommend to the Treasury or to the appropriate Department changes in the rate support grunt system if that is necessary or desirable in order to achieve these ends?

I believe that the time is long overdue for a decisive change in Government policy towards the disabled. What we need is a really tough policy towards those local authorities which are failing to implement the Alf Morris Act and far greater encouragement to those local authorities which are implementing it.

The Government should give the disabled a higher priority in future. They should make far more financial provision than that already announced by the Secretary of State. They should whisk the disabled from the back of the queue to the front. Only if they do that can we begin to say that we are treating our disabled people properly. The Government should not only expand the services but should give disabled people a disablement income as advocated by the Disablement Income Group, and they should cater especially for the disabled housewife.

They should end the scandal of 1,500,000 disabled housewives who are denied all disablement income. This is a monumental example of sex discrimination against women who are less able to defend their rights. I recognise that there is an official fallacy that women at home do not work. That is an insult to women, but it is an official fallacy. It is time the Government reconsidered this long-standing grievance, because it follows from that that the incapacity of women to work requires no compensation. That is deplorable. The devastation to family life caused by disablement makes a mockery of that argument. I ask the Government to remember that 488,000 housewives are so severely disabled as to be unable to do any housework at all. The burden on their families must be appalling.

The Government should also ensure, since they have not done so in the past, that there is a commitment to the full employment of disabled people. I will not labour that point now, because I have raised it on innumerable occasions. The Government should make sure that the half of Britain's employers who are failing to fulfil their responsibilities under the quota scheme are made to fulfil them. They should make the present system work, and if they cannot they should find another system. This is my suggestion. They can make employers pay for their 3 per cent. quota irrespective of whether they employ disabled people. Employers would then ask disabled people to work for them, instead of disabled people having to beg for work.

The Government should also consider the question of the subsidy for disabled people in open industry. If disabled people were assessed on a percentage basis, according to disability, the employer could pay for that percentage of their value and the Government could make up the rest. If this subsidy principle were accepted we would be well on the way to ensuring full provision for the employment of the disabled. If all of these proposals were accepted we would see the beginning of a new era for them. We would be establishing a system which would be the envy of the world—one which would ensure that our society was no longer scarred by indifference or neglect of the disabled but which accorded to them the civilised and responsible place that they all deserve.

7.44 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Michael Alison)

I want to draw the attention of the House to two rather startling facts. The first is that we have been listening to an admirable and robust speech on behalf of the Opposition by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) expounding to the House the deficiencies of local authorities in implementing the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. Yet, tomorrow morning in Committee I shall be listening to the hon. Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) expounding on the reorganisation of the National Health Service and saying why it is that the whole of the National Health Service, lock stock and barrel, should be swept into the ambit of local government.

I can then expect a series of magnificent speeches from the hon. Lady, the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South and other hon. and right hon. Members deploring the extent to which local authorities have failed to implement nationally agreed objectives for administering the National Health Service.

Dr. Shirley Summerskill (Halifax) rose

Mr. Alison

Could I not wait to hear the hon. Lady's case tomorrow?

Dr. Summerskill

The hon. Member will have heard the beginning of the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) in which he pointed out that some local authorities had exceedingly good records. Local authorities are like people, they vary from good to bad.

Mr. Alison

If the hon. Lady is content that the mere process of time will cure all the gaps that have been reported and is saying that there is nothing inherently wrong in local government, then much of what the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South said must fall.

I want to draw the attention of the House to what is perhaps an even more startling fact. If we are to do justice to the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act we ought to remember how recent is the public awareness of the needs of the disabled. Let me refresh the memory of the House because we owe it to ourselves and local authorities to get the perspective right. As recently as the General Election of 1964, less than 10 years ago, no major political party specifically mentioned the word "disabled" in its manifesto.

In the 1966 General Election, less than eight years ago, no mention of that word occurred, in terms, in the Labour Party manifesto. It occurred in terms, although the reference was a passing one, in the Conservative Party manifesto. To consider one kind of chronic sickness which comes within the ambit of the motion— that of mental handicap—the public at large was almost totally uninformed about the extent of mental handicap and the way it was treated until the trouble arose in the Ely Hospital which was reported as recently as 1969, only four years ago.

It was only in May 1971, less than two years ago, that the Amelia Harris report "Handicapped and Impaired in Great Britain" was published and gave us the full picture of the 3 million or so people suffering from some degree of sensory, mental or physical impairment. It was only in December 1971, under two years ago, that the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act was fully implemented. This is the time-scale of public awareness. It is worth making that point because the impression is given in many speeches that it is only recently, in response to this growth in public awareness, that a new weapon has been forged, namely the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act.

This is muddling because it is not the case. Public awareness is new but the means, the methods and the instruments for doing something about it have a very much longer pedigree. There is not a single power or duty or qualified duty which is deployed and extended in the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, fully implemented only in December 1971, which was not available under the National Assistance Act 1948 or the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968—except for passing references to the provision of television sets in Section 2 of the 1970 Act and one or two small schemes for providing transport for educational facilities. If the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act is of comparatively recent origin, the lineage of the powers and qualified duties it imposes upon local authorities has a long and worthy pedigree.

Mr. Alfred Morris (Manchester, Wythenshawe)

On two occasions the hon. Gentleman has referred to December 1971 as the date when the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act was fully implemented. I take it that he means that it was then fully activated. He said that the Act did not lay any new duty on local authorities. Where was the duty previously on local authorities to establish the number of severely handi- capped people in their areas and to inform those people of the services available?

Mr. Alison

I will give the hon. Gentleman the exact reference in the National Assistance Act 1948. I have it in my file, but I cannot take it out now. I shall give it to him when I sum up the debate.

Mr. Morris

The hon. Gentleman will be looking for the terminology of Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948. What the 1970 Act did was to make mandatory something which was formerly permissive. The hon. Gentleman has written to Cornwall County Council in recent days pointing out that the Act lays a duty, not a discretion, on local authorities.

Mr. Alison

My letter to the Cornwall County Council was written in the context of a remark made by the Director of Social Services, probably in an unguarded moment, in a television broadcast. It had no general implication as to the failure or otherwise of Cornwall to implement the Act. The duty to which the hon. Gentleman refers is a qualified duty in cases where need is established. That is the duty in Section 2. Discretion is left, and properly left, with the local authorities when need is established.

I make that point because it makes nonsense of the doctrine of instant implementation, to coin a phrase, which arises from the Opposition's ludicrous motion. If between 1964 and 1970, to take the Opposition's most recent spell in office —and, incidentally, in the perspective of post-war progress a time when some of the minority groups could expect to have something done for them—armed with virtually the full panoply of powers which have been systemised and embodied in the 1970 Act, the then Government left unfinished a good deal of the business which disabled people looked to have done for them, it is a bit hard to chide the present Government for failing to achieve, after about 30 months in office, full implementation of the Act. It is a ludicrous proposition, and for the Opposition to waste the House's time by appealing for full implementation of a series of measures for which powers have been in existence since 1948 and about which they did virtually nothing in six years in office makes the exercise a tawdry political joke.

The second reason for getting the perspective right is this: we must understand the true time scale for the Act for the sake of the disabled. The Opposition's approach to services for the disabled as based on what I will call the "big bang" approach, to use an analogy from astronomy and the doctrine of creation. Their thesis is that nothing was done nor could be done before the 1970 Act was put on the statute book but that, following it, a whole host of services, new personnel and new appliances should have sprung to life at once.

That is the myth of the "big bang" theory of creation—that one has only to say the word and a whole range of things spring into sight and operation. It is bound to mislead and, worse, to arouse ill-founded expectations among the disabled which cannot be met in the short term. Do the Opposition believe that in less than three years from the time that the 1970 Act received the Royal Assent, and in less than two years from the time that the Amelia Harris report was published, it was possible to accomplish everything under the Act for the disabled? Is that what they mean by "fully implemented"?

Mr. John Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

The purport of the argument of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) is that the "big bang" has occurred in certain localities. The situation for the disabled in certain cities has been transformed. It is unreasonable for the Government to say that the "big bang" cannot be national. We expect leadership from the Government and a call to local authorities to achieve that which the best authorities have achieved.

Mr. Alison

A great deal has been done, but it is essential to consider this matter nationally in terms of the alternative to the "big bang", which is, in astronomical terms, continuous creation; to reflect on some of the things done in the past and which cannot all be isolated under the 1970 Act; and to put in perspective the great leap forward which has occurred since the Government have been in office.

I wish to ask the official Opposition spokesman this serious question: is it the Opposition's belief that the range of provision about which Section 2 lays qualified duties on local authorities—the provision of practical assistance in their homes for the 3 million Amelia Harris people; the full provision of library, television, wireless and other recreational facilities; the complete range of home adaptations; the ideal level of meals-on-wheels, including hot meals every weekend for all the 3 million Amelia Harris people; the fullest possible and most generous provision of telephones across the board of the newly-found disabled—should have been fully implemented by this time, less than three years after the 1970 Act went on the statute book? That is the implication of the motion.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State got the scale and perspective right when recently he asked the local authorities in England and Wales to prepare and to submit to him 10-year plans for the development of personal social services. The guidelines which he suggested for the 10-year perspective involved for some services, such as meals-on-wheels and home helps, which do not come directly within the 1970 Act, an implicit expansion of provision, to the extent of doubling or tripling some of the services over 10 years. That is what full implementation means. The Opposition expect the doubling or tripling of home helps to have occurred between the time that the Act was put on the statute book and today. It is a ludicrous proposition, and to promulgate it in public is to do a disservice to the disabled who do not understand the refinements of these matters but expect something to happen, and something will happen.

Mr. Ashley

The hon. Gentleman is legitimately attempting to defend the Government, but if he is not careful he will very seriously damage the interests of disabled people because when he talks about the scale and perspective this may be seized upon by indolent local authorities. Does he embrace the scale and perspective adopted by those local authorities who have multiplied their expenditure elevenfold in one year, or does he embrace the scale and perspective of those who have not? Which does he recommend local authorities to adopt?

Mr. Alison

The hon. Gentleman must be very careful when he talks about local authorities who have not expanded in percentage terms the scale of their service elevenfold and he must be careful in analysing the realities behind those who have shown in a short time scale no sensational increase. If an authority increases home helps from one to 10, it is not making a great leap forward but in percentage terms it is a substantial increase. A lot of local authorities which have done well in the past and have a rising standard of service are precisely those which are unable to show a massive increase in any given year.

I want to bring home to the House the true realities of what is being done and how we can justify what I call the steady evolution of services rather than the big bang theory. I refer first to Section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act because I suspect that the terms of the motion, in the dissatisfaction it expresses, are much concerned with Section 1 of that Act—the duty laid on counties and county boroughs and London boroughs to inform themselves of the numbers and needs of handicapped people in their areas and to publicise the services for them.

Implementation of Section 1, as, I am sure, the hon. Gentleman, with his expert knowledge, will agree, is a complex task. Strictly speaking local authorities would be complying with their duty under the terms of Section 1 if they did no more than establish the numbers and needs on the basis simply of properly conducted sample surveys which we suggested to them and about which we gave them guidance. In practice, however, local authorities are anxious to do more than this. They want not only to establish the likely scale of need but also to identify the individuals in need of services. Indeed, the Government have encouraged them to do both—to get some idea of the scale of need by sample surveys and then get down to the irreplaceable task of picking out the man or woman in his or her home in need of services. Generally speaking, identification of the individual in the context of Section 1 is a longer-term job than carrying out the sample survey, but in practice many local authorities have tried to do both at the same time—carry out sample surveys and identify individuals.

The scale of demand and the pressure of demand which this places upon their scarce resources of staff is a very considerable one, and incidentally, mixing up the task of preparing the estimate of the likely scale of need with that of finding individuals makes it extremely difficult to disentangle, but the progress which they are making in each direction is to their credit, and it is to their credit that they should try to do both at the same time.

Dr. Tom Stuttaford (Norwich, South)

I wonder whether my hon. Friend, in discussing individual needs, will look at the question of the relationship of VAT to costs in the home service. I am thinking particularly of the provision of kidney machines in the home. The cost has now gone up 10 per cent. in the last week. Surely this will put up the cost of a great many other things provided in the home. VAT will be paid on them.

Mr. Alison

I think I am right in saying, though I will check this and write to my hon. Friend if I am wrong, that a kidney machine supplied in the home at the behest of a hospital authority, as nearly always it would be, would come under exemption or zero rating. I do not want to pursue this at the moment if I can avoid it because it is a slightly extraneous and specialised point, but I will write to my hon. Friend if I have got it wrong.

Last summer my right hon. Friend received reports from local authorities about the initial steps they had taken towards the implementation of Section 1. The hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe will remember that I reported to him the results of this inquiry —in answer to a Question on 8th August, very late in the Session. In brief, the position at that time was that 46 of 158 authorities in England had undertaken, or were planning, house-to-house distribution of leaflets; 62 authorities had chosen to proceed by sample survey; a further 35 had adopted both approaches as I described earlier, or some other method; nine reported no definite information; and six did not report at all.

As the House will realise from these figures the great majority of authorities had by last summer set about implementation in one way or another. Since then officials in my Department have been in touch with local authorities about their further progress and this includes those which had nothing to report when we heard from them in August last year. My right hon. Friend intends to make a further statement about this subsequent set of reports as soon as possible, and certainly before the House rises this summer.

I am aware that a good deal of concern has been expressed about those few authorities who appear to have done little or nothing by way of implementation of Section 1. We are anxious to see that Section 1 is implemented, but until the current assessment of the position is completed it is premature to start talking about what steps might or should be taken.

I have explained some of the complexities of the implementation of Section 1 and it is too simple an approach to say that if there is no survey, or no leaflet distribution, therefore there has been no implementation. The situation is far more complex than that, and this is the very reason why local authorities must be left to decide what are the appropriate steps in their particular circumstances.

Mr. Christopher Mayhew (Woolwich, East)

When this assessment is being made of the surveys, would the Minister look into the point that some of the leaflets sent out by local authorities not only do not refer to the mentally handicapped and the chronically mentally sick but actually leave a very strong impression that the Act covers only the physically handicapped? I am thinking of Reading Council, for example. Would he look into this?

Mr. Alison

I am obliged for the point which the hon. Member made and I shall have something to say about the conditions and needs which escape categorisation and specification in Section 29 of the National Assistance Act 1948 and the returns which are made by local authorities.

The hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends have often in the past also criticised the flexibility which rate support grant in its present form gives the local authorities in the allocations which they see fit to make. There may be something in this, but I personally believe that it is inherent in a responsible form of local government, particularly of the sort which I am sure both sides of the House wish to see developed covering large areas with wide powers, that it is vital that they should be given the benefit of the doubt and be held to be responsible before they manifestly show themselves to be irresponsible.

At the same time, as I have told the House, there will be some statistics coming forward this year both under Section 1 and under Section 2, and certainly these will enable my Department to see the efforts of different local authorities in relation to one another over a time scale which allows them a reasonable start to the services they have been asked to provide.

I believe that we can expect local political action—and there is plenty of vigour in local democracy—if some of the material we are assembling and will make available to the House shows that, against any fair and reasonable criteria of progress, there are local authorities which are not going nearly as fast as they could or should, where other local authorities have managed to do so.

I turn to Section 2 of the Act. This places a duty on the authorities, where they are satisfied that a need exists, to make arrangements in regard to a number of matters such as practical help in the home, adaptations, transport, holidays, telephones and television. At present, we cannot say exactly how far authorities have gone in developing services which arise under this section. But, later this year, we shall have the information which we are gathering at present. Each spring, authorities submit returns dealing with a wide range of their social services and this year, for the first time, those returns will include one dealing specifically with the type of help given under Section 2. When the returns have been processed, my right hon. Friend will be publishing the information and it will then be possible for the House to see how things are going and how different authorities are doing in relation to one another.

But I must warn the House that the remarkable article by Pat Healey in The Times today, almost a dress rehearsal, in a dramatic and well-publicised form, of some of the points of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) this afternoon, is a mass of misleading information for those who are not equipped to pick their way through this statistical minefield.

To give one example, I have here a note from Kent County Council, telling us that its expenditure on services for the chronically sick and disabled, excluding staff salaries and administrative costs incurred in meeting the material needs of the physically handicapped rose from £74,000 to £103,000 in the years 1970–71 to 1971–72. In 1972–73, the amount was £229,000 and in the current financial year, the council expects that expenditure will be more than £300,000. It will be seen, therefore, the council says, that, in four years, its direct expenditure on the material needs of the physically handicapped has increased fourfold.

The reason why the Central Council's figures show an apparent reduction in the service is that the methods used by Kent County Council in compiling its statistics changed between 1970–71 and 1971–72, so that no reliable comparison can be made in a statistical form. How totally misleading, therefore, are the sort of allegations implied in the "League Table" published in The Times today and how many other misleading cases, beyond that of Kent County Council, must lurk in that rather disparaging article.

Mr. Ernie Money (Ipswich)

Is my hon. Friend aware that there are some actual mistakes in that table as well? The expenditure of Ipswich County Borough Council, which, God knows, I have criticised often enough on this subject, is recorded wrongly in the Institute of Municipal Treasurers' and Accountants' statistics as having gone down from £7,664 to £5,554. In fact there was a mistake in these figures. It went up by 50 per cent. to over £11,477 for the period 1971–72.

Mr. Alison

I am obliged to my hon. and learned Friend for an important contribution on behalf of an authority which was singled out for criticism. I hope that The Times will undertake to give as wide publicity to the errors and misrepresented features of that article as were given in the first place when it was brought to the attention of the public in this dramatic way.

However, even without these figures, we have a very useful measure of the real progress which has been made. This is the financial measure. Help given under Section 2 forms part of the services for physically handicapped people, including the blind and the deaf, provided under Section 29 of the National Assistance Act, 1948. In the financial year 1971–72, the cost of this service in England and Wales was a little more than £16 million. In real terms, that expenditure represented an increase of about 12½ per cent. over the previous year. So the first full year in office of this Government enabled us to secure an increase in real terms of 12½ per cent. in expenditure on the admittedly narrow category of physically handicapped people embraced by Section 29.

Estimated expenditure on the same services will in real terms be about 50 per cent. higher in the current year than in 1971–72. We thus arrive at the position that estimated expenditure for the current year will be in real terms about 66 per cent. higher than three years ago. That is what this Government have done in the very short period that we have had in office towards implementing the duties long inherently laid upon earlier Governments by the National Assistance Act and the Health Service and Public Health Act.

These figures, of course, do not give the complete picture of what has been done even then. The House knows that one of the difficulties in estimating our scale of provision for the chronically sick and disabled is that services are rendered to them under various headings in which they are beneficiaries but not separately identifiable. Taking expenditure on personal social services at large, therefore, the increase between last year 1971–72 and the end of 1973–74 will be no less than 21 per cent. in real terms. This goes on the same people, the physically handicapped who can be accounted for under the relevant section of the National Assistance Act of 1948, but it gives some idea of the scale of extra expenditure for which we have been providing.

Mr. Charles Simeons (Luton)

Since these figures are available for my hon. Friend to give to the House, would he consider how they might be published locally, so that those of us who are keen to see that councils and authorities keep up to scratch may judge them accurately?

Mr. Alison

As I said, we shall be publishing the performance figures later in the summer under at least some of the headings of expenditure, but my hon. Friend will appreciate that the latest figures that I have given, the very large increase in financial terms in central Government provision, can be lost rather when the distribution takes place through rate support grant, because many local authorities, owing to the varying needs elements, get a different proportion of the total sums made available under rate support grant negotiations. The physically handicapped are fairly easily identified on the kinds of returns that local authorities can make and have been making, although these do not by any means include some of the categories of need which are most pressing for local authorities to deal with.

I come now to the important point made by the hon. Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Mayhew)—namely, the services provided under the broad heading of the mentally handicapped, who are not included in the physically handicapped category on which the National Assistance Act laid such stress. Here, the increase in services, both at central Government level and locally, have been massive. The hon. Gentleman will know, I think, the special encouragement that my right hon. Friend gave this section in the White Paper "Services For The Mentally Handicapped". It included a specific table of the targets to be met in a short term—something like five or six years.

Substantial progress is beginning to be made towards reaching those targets, against the background of a good deal of neglect in the past. These figures do not appear in the sort of statistics that The Times produced today.

The provision for the mentally handicapped in hospitals—this is a category of the sick and disabled about which the motion speaks—has benefited by no less than an 80 per cent. increase in provision in real terms compared with what the last Government did in their concluding years. That is an increase of 80 per cent. over the period 1971–76.

One could elaborate the range of extra money that the Government have brought forward almost ad nauseam—the special provision for the younger chronic sick; the special provision for the disease of alcoholism, a critical and in many cases, alas, a chronic disease; and the cash benefits, like the attendance allowance and the invalidity allowance. There is simply no end to the range and scale of innovations in financial provision and in provision in kind which this Government have seen fit to give priority to in our three short years in office. It has been on an unprecedented scale.

Yet the Opposition have the effrontery, after years in which these powers lay to the hands of Ministers and hence to the hands of local government, after long periods when they have been in office and did absolutely nothing, to try to persuade the House that, in three short years, we should fully have implemented every conceivable kind of provision for the chronically sick and disabled.

This is a motion which the Opposition manifestly do not believe themselves, and if they examine its implications it proves to be simply a bogus charade trying, I am afraid, to mislead, perhaps, the voting public in some dimension, to think of the shortcomings of which the Government are alleged to have been guilty. The fact is that the Opposition have hit the wrong target. The damage is most regrettably done to the very people whom I believe both sides of the House are only too anxious to help—those who have for too long been neglected but for whom it is not possible overnight, by waving a magic wand, to put right the years of neglect for which both parties are admittedly responsible. But we on this side have made a better start than ever before, and I think that the country will appreciate it.

8.20 p.m.

Mr. Laurie Pavitt (Willesden, West)

The Under-Secretary of State has made a very selective case and has done less than justice to the Opposition, because, although he is able to claim the progress that has been made over the last few years, he has omitted to say that one of the reasons for that progress is that the Opposition have had the effrontry to keep prodding and pressing. He has also failed to give sufficient credit not only for the way in which the Act brought the matter into public focus far more than did either the Ely or the Farley Report, but also for the way in which public attention was focused on the Act and the way in which the organisations themselves were brought together by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) in order to continue the pressure both nationally and locally.

The Under-Secretary made no mention of Sections 17, 18 and 19, yet it is those sections that cry directly for full implementation by regional hospital boards and management committees, and are therefore his responsibility. The hon. Gentleman spoke of a 10-year plan. It is appreciated that there must be a long-term planning provision, but I know of no Government as good as a Conservative Government for being able to hide behind 10-year plans as a means of staving off constant criticism, such as we have heard in this debate. I recall the 1961 five-year plan on hospital building, which by 1964 had not even reached the starting expenditure envisaged.

Because this is to be a short debate I shall concentrate on the full implementation of Section 24, which deals with the problem of hearing research. At this point, I hope the House will forgive me if I take the opportunity of making an apology to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) and in doing so make a statement for the record which I hope will clear up any past misconception.

Clause 24, as it then was, was an attempt to give hearing research a national centre—a focal point and an apex of co-ordination. When the measure was in its early stages my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe gave us all the opportunity to put forward our ideas on the subject, and my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South was able to put forward the clause which helps the deaf who are also blind. I was privileged to put forward four clauses the subject of only one of which succeeded in reaching the final legislation, as Section 24. Although the original clause was drafted by me, before it reached the Committee I had a long consultation with the Department of Education and Science and other interested bodies. Before the Committee reached the clause I went off to America to tell them about socialised medicine, and I dropped that baby of mine in the lap of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South. I am certain that had I persisted in that clause as I had drafted it, it would never have reached fruition, but my hon. Friend was able to get it through. Probably nobody else in this House could have done so.

If there is one Member of the House from whom no one would wish to take credit it is my hon. Friend, and if there is one hon. Member who would the least want to do so it is myself, who knows perhaps better than any other Member the problems with which my hon. Friend has so successfully and courageously coped.

I put that on the record because I want to give some information on the implementation of the section. In doing so I quote from a speech by Sir George Godber, Chief Medical Officer of Health to the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering. Sir George said: Perhaps one of the most worrying shortcomings in the clinical field is the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the deaf…. True, no one has produced much technical progress in any country, but here we are in the 25th year of the National Health Service having made very little progress in providing further assistance for the deaf, and we are dealing with over half a million people who could benefit if we could find the means. This is an area in which I cannot help feeling that neither medically nor scientifically, nor through the administration have we given as much support as we would have done to medical or non-medical scientists". It is on the basis of this analysis by our own Chief Medical Officer of Health that Section 24 and its implementation receive full significance. What happened as a result of the section drafted by my hon. Friend was that the Department of Health produced a report as long ago as April 1972 and, as charged by the provisions of the section, presented that report to the Medical Research Council. The council set up a sub-committee on which I was privileged to serve and, as a result, stated in its final report that it had come to the conclusion: There are three main areas of research related to deafness in which additional research effort particularly needs to be encouraged because the results are most likely to be of practical benefit to the deaf. These are concerned respectively with clinical and epidemiological studies, fundamental studies relevant to the development of new types of instrumentation to aid hearing, and research related to education, rehabilitation and social adaptation. The objectives of the research required in the clinical and epidemiological fields can be best attained by means of multi-centre studies and by encouraging the development of university departments of otorhinolaryngology. It is to the shame of the country that there are now only two university chairs in this subject—one in Manchester and one in Gray's Inn Road. This is a neglected field academically, clinically and socially.

As a result of the sub-committee's deliberations the implementation of this section now falls quite neatly into the lap of the Secretary of State because the deliberations have been completed and the report of the Medical Research Council is in the right hon. Gentleman's hand. The report, covering a wide area of activity, says: Nevertheless, this does not exclude the need for establishing, within existing machinery for the support of research, some form of overall mechanism for co-ordinating research at various centres and providing a focal point for the collation and dissemination of information. It is as a result of the efforts of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South that Section 24 has finally found acceptance by the Medical Research Council, which puts its implementation back to the Secretary of State. I say that because the council has hitherto been the sole responsibility of the Department of Education and Science, but as a result of the Rothschild and Dainton Reports, £5.6 million is now involved in a customer-contractor relationship between the Secretary of State and the Medical Research Council.

It is therefore no good the Undersecretary shrugging off responsibility by saying that in this case what has to be done rests with local authorities. The responsibility rests on the shoulders of his right hon. Friend and himself, and I hope that as a result of this debate there will no longer be any delay. I know that the hon. Gentleman has not had the report on his desk for more than a fortnight, but with that full information before him there is no need why there should be further delay, and why the various recommendations should not be proceeded with and implemented forthwith. There is no reason for the hon. Gentleman to charge anyone else with the responsibility. It is in the hope that that responsibility will be discharged that I plead with the Under-Secretary to get a move on and do something for those who suffer from this form of deafness—and also to do something by way of research to help those who, like some of us in the House, have to face this form of disability. This is not only to prevent deafness from occurring but to support those coping with this form of disablement.

8.30 p.m.

Mr. David Crouch (Canterbury)

I must first apologise to the House since I shall have to leave before the end of the debate. At the moment I am meant to be in another place, by which I do not mean the traditional "other place" but at another conference. I intervene only to inform the House about my own constituency. When we last debated this Act just over a year ago the city of Canterbury came in for considerable criticism.

My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary was right to question the wisdom of the Opposition in moving this critical motion. We do not help the disabled by making a party issue of them. In my dealings with the disabled I have never felt that there is any question of a party issue being involved. I have always felt it necessary to adopt a bipartisan, even a tripartisan—an all-party— approach to solving problems which are on everyone's conscience, whether an ordinary citizen, a person in local government or a Member of this House. As a result of this debate the disabled may feel that they have not been well served by misleading statements in The Times and by scaring suggestions that not enough is being done. At the same time, however, they will be compensated in some measure by knowing that they have been talked about and thought about in this debate. In that respect I make no criticism of the motion.

I come to my main point which concerns the one-time criticism of Canterbury. It was said that the city, as a county borough and a responsible local authority, had not been spending enough money in implementing the Act. That was the criticism a year ago. But it has been pointed out already that statistics may be misleading.

A year ago when that criticism was expressed I found on investigation that the money spent on adaptations to council houses to make them suitable for disabled people had been charged to the housing revenue account and had not shown up as expenditure on the implementation of the Act. We have heard from my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary about similar misleading statistics which have been drawn by the Central Council for the Disabled from certain counties, Kent especially.

As a result of the criticism, we in Canterbury got down to the problem. When I say "we", I mean myself, the local authority and a great many other people. Our first move was to carry out Section 1 of the Act, which in my view is the most important part of it, to identify the size of the problem and to identify individuals. An extensive survey was made. It was carefully planned and prepared. This took time. In this case we were lucky to be assisted by the University of Kent, where there is considerable experience of this type of survey work on the social sciences side. The city council set up a special steering committee to undertake the task.

There was no shortage of volunteers in this work. Students, school children and many ordinary and busy citizens gave their time willingly to assist in this work because they were very anxious to help. They knew that the work was required and they came forward. I was present at the inaugural meeting which called for volunteers and put forward this carefully prepared plan to the citizens of Canterbury.

It was very encouraging to see right away that there was no party issue at stake. All the parties were represented and all played an equal and strong part. There was never any question of trying to see who was representing one party political interest or another.

It is relatively easy to tackle a small county borough and city like Canterbury with a population of only 35,000 and with a very small area to cover. This makes the work easier. Even so the plan had to be prepared carefully. I believe that the House will be interested to know what was done.

A questionnaire was prepared. A copy was delivered by hand to every household in Canterbury. Each was followed up by a personal visit, which is where the volunteers came in. The interviewers were selected carefully. People can be put off by an interviewer trying to find out about disability, illness or age. The interviewers were carefully trained and advised in this regard. It was not just a matter of counting heads or identifying numbers. People were asked what help they needed in their difficulties and in that way made their own contribution in addition to supplying basic facts about the numbers involved.

The answers which they gave and which are now revealed in the completed survey were, among others, that they needed help with stoking fires in their houses, with carrying coal, and so on. They needed someone to prepare, collect, deliver and put out laundry. They needed help with the task of moving dustbins to front doors or front gates. All the time they needed more people to call on them.

This was not a cold survey or analysis of the number of people involved, with the imprint of local government officialdom. There was nothing like that about the survey. Its main aim was to offer help where it was needed.

The full survey from the whole city revealed the following figures—and I give three interesting ones. Out of a population of 35,000, 770 were found to be substantially handicapped. That figure represents 2.2 per cent. of the total population. Of that number, 558 were over 65 years of age; in other words 10.3 per cent. of all the people over 65 in Canterbury were found to be handicapped. Of the total, 52 were children under 16 or 0.68 per cent.

The survey also revealed the way in which people could be helped. There was a need for greater mobility to be provided in the home by means of adaptations to houses. This is very important. The exact details of a person's handicap were recorded, including the disease or illness from which they were suffering, their deafness or blindness and the degree of it. Another very important detail was whether a disabled person lived alone or with one other partner. On that final point, I have this revealing and sad statistic. It was discovered that 244 disabled persons lived alone and that 299 lived with a partner.

Having made the survey and having thus implemented Section 1, it was necessary to see what action should be taken. The following action is now being taken in Canterbury. The city council has set up a special unit for the handicapped. It is working to provide the adaptations to houses which the survey showed to be necessary, and this programme is being speeded up. Already between 30 and 40 telephones have been supplied free. More will be provided. Consideration is being given to the extension of the adult training centre which is quite new but which is no longer big enough.

Paragraphs 45 and 46 of Cmnd. 5280, published this afternoon by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, do not neglect the urgent requirements of the disabled. Paragraph 45 speaks of the need for an adequate supply of purpose-built accommodation for the disabled.

Paragraph 46 speaks of the need for small houses or flatlets grouped under the supervision of a warden. Canterbury does not lack these facilities, but it does not have enough of them I am glad that my right hon. and learned Friend, by including those paragraphs in the White Paper, is signalling that the Government are prepared to be generous in their provisions to local authorities, thus giving local authorities the green light to make provision in this regard.

In conclusion, it is one thing for the House to criticise. It is our duty to criticise, whether we criticise people, local authorities, or Whitehall. It is one thing for the Act to talk of a duty. That is all the Act does. It does not impose any great penalties on local authorities not carrying out their duties. There is no penalty for a local authority which does not react to criticism from the House.

What we need to implement this Act is a determination to do so and a great deal of energy. If those two qualities are found in local authorities—I have no evidence that they are not there already—the volunteers will come forward in great numbers. If the debate does anything, I believe that it will generate that amount of publicity, especially with the Under-Secretary's wise remarks, which will stimulate still further local authorities to action.

The Government have not been ungenerous. There is no need for local authorities to feel in any way financially restricted. Section 1—the survey—is the essential starting point. The cruel facts it reveals will give rise to the energy which will complete the job.

8.41 p.m.

Mr. Frank McElhone (Glasgow, Gorbals)

It is third time lucky for me. The presence of the Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office is a consolation to me and to many handicapped people in Scotland. The Secretary of State for Social Services will remember that I made these points in the debates on 18th December 1970 and 21st February 1972.

Scotland is treated rather shabbily in these debates. Either no Scottish Minister is present or, if one is present, he has no opportunity to answer the points which are made about the disabled in Scotland. In future debates of this kind there should be some collaboration with the Secretary of State for Scotland, who has always proclaimed that he is an advocate on behalf of the disabled in Scotland. He should be able to speak on their behalf.

Another point which disturbs Scottish Members is the lateness in bringing out reports about social work in Scotland. The only way of our being informed in this regard, apart from Question Time, is through social work reports. Whereas reports for England and Wales are produced early, the social work report for Scotland for 1971 was not issued until November 1972. A similar situation exists in regard to the report about the separation of the younger chronically sick in geriatric units.

Many Scottish local authorities had great doubt about the implications of Sections 1 and 2. However, a Private Member's Bill sponsored last year by my hon. Friend the Member for Greenock (Dr. Dickson Mabon) and myself, amongst others, did much to remove that doubt. I am sure that local authorities in Scotland are now in no doubt that they, just like local authorities in England and Wales, are under a duty to implement every section of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.

Is Scotland getting a fair deal for its disabled on a pro rata basis? On 21st February the Secretary of State listed the Government's efforts for that year and compared the efforts which had been made by the Scottish Office. This showed that Scotland is not getting a fair deal.

I quote some figures to show that my argument is sound. In England last year there was a 5 per cent. increase in home nursing and an 8 per cent. increase in home helps; 38 new assessment centres were provided for disabled young people; there was a special review of services for the blind and the deaf; and three special centres were set up for the study of epilepsy. These things are very welcome. Although they may be inadequate they are far better than the provisions in Scotland, which is suffering very badly indeed.

I made this point in the Scottish Estimates Committee in July. So far as I am aware, no attempt has been made by the Scottish Office to correct the imbalance between England and Wales on the one hand and Scotland on the other. I am sure that anybody who listened to the Scottish rate support grant debate will be of the same opinion.

I was glad to hear the Minister say that there has been an increase of 66 per cent. in the amount of expenditure on the disabled in England and Wales, but in Scotland the increase in spending on the social services was only 9.6 per cent. With inflation raging at 10 per cent., we are only standing still. The need to spend more has been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for Scotland time and again, especially at Question Time.

The Minister referred to the motion as a tawdry joke. On Scottish television many advertisements implore the disabled to go out and seek employment. One sees how dishonest those advertisements are when one considers the rate support grant and discovers that sheltered workshop expenditure is among the also-rans. It is grossly unfair and misleading to keep advertising and asking the disabled to go out and work while not spending the money to provide the workshops that are so badly needed in Scotland.

I now refer to telephones, of which there is a great need in Scotland. It is to the credit of the Secretary of State that on 12th October he sent a circular to local authorities indicating that there was no real problem in providing telephones and that it was only a question of getting the co-operation of the Supplementary Benefits Commission. My infor- mation is that there is a difficulty, because the commission is not providing the necessary finance. The Secretary of State said that he was arranging for cooperation between the commission and local authorities, so that no difficulties would arise.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Hector Monro)

I am glad the hon. Gentleman raised the question of telephones. Two years ago there was hardly a telephone in Scotland for disabled persons. Now the figure is approaching 500, so we are making substantial progress.

Mr. McElhone

I accept that there is progress, but I would hardly say that it is substantial, particularly bearing in mind the number of disabled and handicapped people, many of whom cannot move from their homes. In my constituency there are 770 people who cannot leave their homes because they are badly disabled. Five hundred telephones for the whole of Scotland is grossly inadequate by any standard.

In a Parliamentary Question I asked how many local authorities had provided telephones, and in May 1972 I was told that the information was not available. I should like that information to be available, because we have asked for it several times. If surveys were carried out among local authorities, as they should be, under Sections 1 and 2 of the Act, they would show that the need for telephones runs into thousands rather than a mere 500.

It is necessary to be brief in this debate to allow other hon. Members to speak, but, speaking with some presumption for the whole of Scotland—[Laughter.] I am glad that other Scottish Members are laughing, but there is so much that could be said. I refer to a letter written to me by the Secretary of State on 12th July 1971. It is necessary to go some time back to let hon. Members know what the Secretary of State is doing in Scotland. His letter said that he was to examine urgently a scheme set up by Edinburgh University to make a proper assessment of the disabled. That was 1971, and we are still waiting for an indication from the Secretary of State of any action taken by either the university or him.

We are disturbed that nothing substantial has been done for the young chronic sick who are in geriatric units. The figure I have shows that 427 young Scots are in geriatric units—units which accommodate people aged between 75 and 80, who are often mentally unsound. Not only do these young people suffer physical pain and handicap; they suffer mentally by being incarcerated in these places. No effort is being made in Scotland to deal with this problem, yet when one considers hospital building progress, to which I have referred in question after question, if one takes the Western Regional Board, which covers a wide area in Scotland one discovers that its programme consists mainly of building more and more geriatric units.

I believe that we have the wrong end of the stick, although many may say that with advances in medicine and antibiotics the elderly disabled are being kept alive longer and that the answer is to build more and more geriatric units. It must be obvious to the Minister that these are not only costly to build but very difficult to staff. By the time a person is admitted into that type of unit, he or she is often in a poor way, because in the main these disabled people, more than any other section of the community, suffer from a lack of nutrition.

If anything came out of a survey which I made 18 months ago it was the fact that the nutritional problem among old people is a very real one and that disabled people often spend more to get enough food to keep themselves alive and to heat their homes.

The Minister must take some cognisance of another aspect of the problem. If he were to spend sufficient money on home helps and home nurses, with the back-up of medical services and proper nutrition for these disabled people, about 70 per cent. would not have to go to hospital. In strictly commercial terms —and such terms seem to appeal more than anything else to this Government— millions of pounds could be saved. It was clear from the Minister's opening speech tonight that England and Wales are again receiving a great deal more financial benefit than is Scotland.

Mr. Monro

I hesitate to interrupt the hon. Gentleman again. I know his interest in the disabled and in social matters of this kind, but I hope that he will not misrepresent the case in relation to Scotland. Between 1971–72 and 1974–75 there will be an increase of expenditure on social work services from £34 million to £44 million. That also shows substantial progress. Hardly any social welfare project has been held back through lack of finance.

Mr. McEIhone

I accept the accuracy of that figure, but if the hon. Gentleman is saying that over five years there will be an increase of £10 million—

Mr. Monro

Three financial years.

Mr. McElhone

Three financial years —but we shall probably find that that spreads over four years. However, let us not argue about that. The fact remains that in percentage terms what the Under-Secretary told us tonight in relation to England and Wales shows that we are still doing very poorly in Scotland. He spoke of 66 per cent. The increase for Scotland, to which the Minister has just referred is nothing like 66 per cent.

It is noteworthy that the nutrition study which started in, I think, 1968 has still not reported. I hope that we shall hear about it in the Minister's speech.

The Under-Secretary of State made some abusive comments about our motion, saying that it was a tawdry joke and a bogus charade. Anyone who understands the real problem in Scotland knows that that is a dishonest remark. This Government, more than any other in the past, have an overdraft in integrity. That is true by any standards, as we all know.

The Secretary of State, who has repeatedly put himself forward as a champion of the disabled, seems always to miss these important debates. I always receive a letter of apology from him. I agree that he is going somewhere else tonight and he probably had a prior engagement. But I want him to show in the House, and in St. Andrew's House, the sort of action which he promises in the speeches he makes in Scotland at the weekends. He has made so many promises to the disabled that he would do well to remember the words of Robert Frost— For I have promises to keep And miles to go before I sleep".

8.58 p.m.

Mr. David Price (Eastleigh)

Just to keep the record straight, I begin by declaring once again my personal interest in the subject of disablement, and I trust that my personal involvement with disability will not prejudice the House against me.

This is a short debate, and I shall confine myself to three general points. I refer, first, to our whole attitude to severe disablement. As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State rightly said, only in the last few years has the whole range of problems concerning the civil disabled become a proper subject of informed debate. Previously, the political parties and the House itself concerned themselves only with the war disabled, with the industrially disabled, with disabled children and with disability within hospitals. What we have become aware of since, or have been made aware of since, is the extent of severe disability among our fellow citizens.

We are especially grateful to Amelia Harris and her fellow researchers for so clearly identifying the scale of the problem and the terrible neglect of the past. We are addressing ourselves tonight principally to the severely handicapped, the 1.1 million or so persons over the age of 15 living outside hospitals and institutions. If we add the severely handicapped children who were outwith Amelia Harris's survey, we have a total of about 1¼ million severely handicapped. I think that the House would do well to take her distinction between the greater number whom she identified as being impaired and the lesser number who are severely handicapped.

One and a quarter million people is a formidable figure in any man's language. But as we begin to examine in depth the variety of problems facing these 1¼ million people the differing personal needs requiring to be satisfied appear even more formidable. I believe that we shall begin to satisfy those needs only when we cease to think of those disabled people as objects, recipients of society's good works. We must start thinking of the disabled as subjects and not objects. We must regard them for what they are—as human beings who are continuously helping themselves to overcome severe handicaps in the daily run of their normal lives but who require further help from outside in order to fortify that process of self-help.

Furthermore, we should cease to regard severe disability as being abnormal or extraordinary. After all, 1¼ million of us are severely disabled. Instead I suggest that we should regard severe disability as quite normal. Any one of us here could find ourselves severely disabled, and that is a very cautionary thought. So when we talk about the disabled we might be talking about our own personal future. A person does not become a different person when he becomes disabled. He does not cease to be a human being. These people have all the normal heartaches and passions that flesh is heir to. Let us start regarding the disabled, therefore, as normal human beings and not as objects of our pity or of our political manœuvrings. Let us regard them as ourselves, because they may well be ourselves tomorrow.

My second point follows from my first. Until all local authorities understand emotionally as well as intellectually that it is normal to be disabled we shall not, in my judgment, see the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 implemented with the determination and enthusiasm which it deserves Let me take two examples. A person living in a wheelchair lives in a two-dimensional world. Every curbstone is a major obstacle and every flight of stairs is a complete impasse. Often such people cannot get out of their own homes without help from someone else, and there is nothing in terms of self-help that a wheel-borne citizen can do to overcome such three-dimensional objects.

That is why Section 4 of the Act is so vital. It is also why the lack of progress is so frustrating. The same reasoning applies to Section 5 which deals with the provision of public sanitary conveniences. Here the record to date is often worse. I should like every candidate in the forthcoming county and district council elections to spend a day in a wheelchair doing the rounds of his electoral area before polling day and he would then understand what I am talking about. Incidentally, he would require a very strong bladder.

My third point is that there is one thing which all severely disabled people require and that is a disability pension as of right and without a means test. Of course, it would be ungracious of me not to acknowledge the progress which is being made in this direction by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services. I refer of course to the creation of a new lower rate attendance allowance following the successful establishment of the constant attendance allowance, now called the higher rate attendance allowance. There has also been the institution of the invalidity benefit which has helped some people. Will my hon. Friend the Minister indicate to us the number of severely disabled people who are benefiting from the invalidity benefit who were excluded from any benefit before?

All this progress is in the direction of a disablement income. But to those of us directly involved there is a long way to go before we can feel reasonably content that the financial needs of the severely disabled are adequately covered. I am a member and therefore a supporter of the Disablement Income Group. I hope it is no longer necessary to deploy in detail here the case for a disablement income. I am pretty sure that right hon. and hon. Members in all quarters accept the broad case for it.

Many hon. Members are somewhat uncertain about how we move from the present position to the position which is desired. I suspect that that is true of both Front Benches. I am prepared to accept the establishment of disabled income by instalments, provided the instalments are sufficiently large and sufficiently frequent.

I should like to make two positive suggestions for two instalments which could be made this year. The first is to widen the definition of eligibility for attendance allowance. The present definition is very narrow. It refers, in particular in the first leg, to "bodily functions". It should be broadened to include the idea of self-care—a phrase which frequently occurs in the Amelia Harris Report—and the ability to fulfil domestic duties appropriate to a citizen's age and marital status.

It is a major obstacle to a person not to be able to fulfil normal domestic duties appropriate to his or her age and status. That might provide a third leg to the definition under the attendance allowance.

Secondly, my right hon. Friend might consider building on the concept of the invalidity benefit. Here the most urgent priority is to bring in disabled housewives with dependent children. Chapter 17 of Amelia Harris's survey shows that in this connection we are talking about 100,000 women at the most. It would be of great assistance if my hon. Friend announced tonight that the Government will issue an early Green Paper on the methods and instalments by which they intend to reach a disablement income as of right for all severely disabled persons without a means test. The industrial injuries benefit is a good model of what we want.

I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to help us to help them to help our fellow citizens to help themselves.

9.8 p.m.

Mr. David Weitzman (Stoke Newington and Hackney, North)

I am glad that the Under-Secretary has returned to the Chamber, for I wanted to tell him that during the long years I have been in the House I have rarely heard a more impudent defence to a motion of the kind before us than that which the hon. Gentleman advanced. He belittled the effect of the provisions of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act by asking, "What on earth did the Act do?". He said that all the powers existed before, and that all that the Act did was to summarise them.

The hon. Gentleman should look up the provisions of the National Assistance Act 1948 and of any other acts that have anything to do with the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. He will find that he is completely wrong. It is true that certain powers were given under the National Assistance Act 1948 and that certain functions could be exercised by the local authority. But if he takes the trouble to look at Section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, and particularly subsections (1) and (2), the hon. Gentleman will find that it put a mandatory duty upon local authorities that did not exist before.

In the same way, if the hon. Gentleman will apply a legal mind to Section 2 he will find that what he said about that is wrong. A duty was there put upon the local authorities with regard to their functions under Section 29 of the National Assistance Act concerning people who satisfied certain needs.

The hon. Gentleman was wrong on another point. He talked about the Labour Government's not having implemented the powers that existed under the National Assistance Act. What was the Conservative Government doing from 1951 to 1964 in the way of implementing those powers? Let the hon. Gentleman blame his own Government. I have rarely heard a more impudent defence than the hon. Gentleman advanced.

The 1970 Act, piloted through the House by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) and supported by all hon. Members, was one of the most important Acts we passed. It was rightly described as a charter for the disabled—a long-neglected class, as the Minister himself said.

Section 1 of that Act makes it mandatory for all local authorities to maintain a register of disabled and to publicise the services it must provide under Section 2. Section 1 is the basis of the Act. Without it, without knowledge of who were the disabled and the services provided, there was little hope that the disabled would be helped at all.

I had the honour of being a member of the Standing Committee that considered the measure, and of giving some help in drafting those sections. It was envisaged then that they would be efficiently and promptly implemented.

The Minister said that the motion speaks of "ensuring full implementation" and he asked, "Would the Opposition expect us fully to implement the provisions?" Nobody suggested that the Government should fully implement the provisions, but they should go well along the road to doing something concrete to establish what is meant by the Act.

Nearly three years after the Act was passed, some authorities are carrying out their duty in a praiseworthy manner, but too many are unfortunately lagging behind, apparently either not knowing of their duties under Sections 1 and 2 or doing far too little to carry out those duties. I do not lay the blame so much on the local authorities; I lay it squarely on the Minister, on the Government.

Figures provided by the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants show gross inadequacy on the part of certain local authorities. We read and hear criticism of those figures. It is said that they do not represent the true position, but the Minister has refused so far to publish a report showing the true position.

What should be done? First, the Minister should respond to the appeal made to him on many occasions to publicise by television, radio and the Press the duty put upon the local authorities to prepare and maintain a complete register, and to inform the disabled of the services provided for them. Local authorities should be encouraged to seek the aid of voluntary bodies, which are only too eager to assist them to carry out the task.

If too great a financial burden has been placed on the local authorities, further finance should be provided by the Government. This would be a far better way to spend the £15 million that is to be used to subsidise the building societies, who say that they neither wanted nor asked for the money.

The Act calls for the provision of housing accommodation to meet the special needs of the disabled. What has been done in that direction? It provides for special access to public buildings and sanitary conveniences for the disabled. What has been done about that? It calls for the provision of education facilities for certain disabled children. What has been done about that? Those are only some of its provisions. Why has the House not had an opportunity, provided by the Government, to discuss these matters?

Two annual reports have been produced under Section 22 which deals with research and development—sparse and unsatisfactory and giving little information that could not have been obtained elsewhere. The Government stand condemned for their failure to provide reports on what has been done so that provision for the disabled could be discussed comprehensively and in detail. I ask the Minister to remind himself of the many questions with which he has had to deal, for it has been left to the individual Member to get information by asking Questions.

The motion speaks for itself. Despite what the Minister says, it clearly expresses condemnation of the Government's failure.

8.17 p.m.

Mr. John Astor (Newbury)

I cannot accept the interpretation that the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) has put on the speech of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary. My hon. Friend did not seek to belittle the provisions of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, but he made a realistic speech about progress. On the other hand, I fully understand the impatience of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley). I put that down entirely to enthusiasm, because the hon. Member works as hard for the disabled as anyone else in the House.

It is true that all those of us who were privileged to serve on the Committee which considered the Act perhaps over-optimistically thought that progress would be quicker. Some worrying features in the report prepared on behalf of Action for the Crippled Child have been mentioned. It is worth noting that six authorities have not taken any steps to prepare a register, and among those which have there have been wide variations in the figures of the disabled. The average figure is about 28 disabled per thousand population. The figure disclosed by some authorities is as low as five or eight per thousand, and that suggests that those authorities have not tackled the roots of the problem.

There are variations in the implementation of Section 2, which deals with the provision of television sets, the installation of telephones, recreational facilities, transport and education facilities and so forth. The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South rightly pointed out that some authorities have done very well. We should all be more satisfied if the standards of the less good were brought up to the standards of the good, and I urge my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary to do what he can to bring the bad authorities up to the standards of the good.

Much good has already emerged from the Act. One example is increased awareness. My hon. Friend mentioned the public's awareness of the problems of the disabled, but I bring it much nearer home, for there is much greater awareness among hon. Members of the problems of disablement. There is no party advantage in this issue, for neither party has had a good record in its treatment of the disabled. It is only as a result of pressure from both sides of the House that in recent years the problem has been more fully recognised and understood, with the result that some action has been taken.

Another good thing that emerges from the report is that some original ideas are being adopted by different authorities. One authority, for instance, has appointed an architect who specialises in the conversion of houses to meet the needs of disabled people. Other authorities have original ideas about providing holiday and transport facilities. If the less-good authorities follow the example of the good authorities and pick up the best ideas, they will make progress and be of real benefit to the disabled community.

There are signs that some authorities have had the wisdom to realise that often expenditure on behalf of the disabled— such as the adaption of a disabled person's home—can save money for the country as well as bringing a degree of independence to the disabled person.

I should be the first to welcome any further improvements, but it is only fair to refer to what has been done in the last two and a half years. There has been the introduction and expansion of the attendance allowance. The invalidity allowance and pensions for the over-80—many of whom are chronically sick and disabled—have been introduced. An additional benefit of 25p is provided for retired pensioners who are over 80.

My hon. Friend the Member for East-leigh (Mr. David Price), who has just left the Chamber, referred to various other improvements for which we hope and look forward. Among those improvements is provision for the housewife with dependent children. I also hope that it will prove possible to raise the limit of the earnings rule so that all disabled people who cannot lead a completely full life and who have lost some of their earnings power will be able to retain and hold a job which will give them some income —perhaps not a living wage—and a great deal of independence, satisfaction and pride. I hope that before long improvements along those lines will be introduced.

The Disablement Income Group has been effective in its campaign over a number of years. It was fair in its statement which it issued in June in pressing, and rightly so, for an invalidity pension, when it said: We shall be foolish and churlish if in our keenness to get more help where it is needed we overlook the remarkable progress made for us by Sir Keith Joseph. People who are concerned about the disabled, and those who try to do what they can to help, recognise the tremendous progress that has been made. It is equally recognised that a lot remains to be done, and I hope that we shall see improvements being made.

9.23 p.m.

Mr. John Golding (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

This is a political debate. The Government have had the choice between doing more or less for the chronic sick and disabled. In the Finance Bill the Government chose to give £300 million to the rich. I should have preferred them to give £300 million to the disabled.

It is important that Labour hon. Members censure the Government for their lack of activity. It was important that the hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. Crouch) revealed that the previous debate on this matter—which the Government deplored because it was political— brought about a transformation in Canterbury.

It is important that the spotlight be put on the local authorities that are not fully implementing the Alf Morris Act. I am concerned about the provision of telephones I know that members of my union—the Post Office Engineering Union—are working voluntarily in their own time to install telephones for the disabled. I am disturbed when it is reported that in many instances their offers are not willingly accepted because of the bureaucracy of local authorities, namely, their reluctance to implement the scheme. Members of my union have become discouraged because their offers to work for nothing to install telephones have not been accepted in the spirit of those offers.

Telephones are of great importance to the disabled. I have been re-reading the National Innovation Centre's study of the situation in Hull. The sample was small, but it gave a clear indication that the provision of telephones not only saves lives but also saves individuals from having to go into institutions. The survey showed clearly what many of us in the Post Office Engineering Union have been saying for a decade—that the provision of this service not only acts as a lifeline, or as an emergency service, but can also avoid the great isolation which is sometimes felt by disabled people, living alone or with one other person. The argument against the flashing emergency light is not that it might not be seen but that it is not enough, because the problem of the disabled person is not only the physical one of staying alive but the problem of isolation and loneliness.

Other services have also been neglected. I am concerned, as is the National Innovation Centre, with the problem of disabled students. In my constituency, disabled children, with the exception of one or two categories, are well provided for in schooling, but those who do well find it very difficult to go on to further education at either the college of further education or the university, because the architects who designed both buildings, which are modern, were more concerned about the look of the buildings than with their use by disabled students as well as other students.

It is becoming increasingly important to provide facilities in these centres for the disabled to take part in further education. There is no doubt that the importance of work for the disabled is that they should be able to use their minds. Very often, their disabilities debar them from working with their hands or acquiring manual dexterity. It is very important that their education should be as extensive as possible.

There is also the problem of access. in this context, I reiterate what others outside the House have said. In all our talk about stopping the motor car from going into city centres, let no town planner forget that it is most important for the disabled to be able to use transport to get into the cities. In solving the problem of the motor car in our cities, we must be careful not further to restrict the mobility of the disabled. The time has come for the Government to take mandatory powers to extend the yellow badge scheme, whereby disabled persons receive special parking facilities. It is a scandal that in central London the local authorities are not adopting the scheme. It is also a scandal that there is still no clear guidance whether blind passengers are covered by the scheme. It should be possible for a driver carrying a blind passenger to stop his vehicle at a convenient point. It is nonsense to provide yellow badges for disabled drivers but not to take into account the needs of blind passengers.

The other thing which must be done is to provide work for not only the physically, but the mentally handicapped. Again, this is a problem in my constituency. It is wrong to provide schooling for these people up to the ages of 16, 17 or 18 and then to tell them that there is no chance of their being employed. We should not tell them that they face a lifetime with such a threat hanging over them. This is a political debate, which stems from the fact that the Government have chosen to give money to the wrong people. They have given it to the rich rather than the disabled.

9.30 p.m.

Mr. Alfred Morris (Manchester, Wythenshawe)

This is a deeply important debate for very large numbers of the most hard-pressed people in Britain today. In his speech the Under-Secretary said that the opening speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) was both admirable and robust. It was also a speech of transparent sincerity and compelling force. There have been many notable speeches from both sides of the House.

Uncharacteristically, because we all respect his sincerity and concern, the Under-Secretary was villainously unfair to The Times. He knows that the newspaper was seeking today to perform a public service. He referred to "big bangs" in his speech. His own contribution, because of its heavy party political overtones, was little more than a damp squib. The speech of the hon. Member for Canterbury (Mr. Crouch) was an object lesson to the Under-Secretary. The hon. Member carefully kept away from any party points. If every local authority had done as well as Canterbury in the past year, this motion would never have appeared on the Order Paper. The Under-Secretary knows that very well. Like the Secretary of State, he also knows that our only concern is much to improve the general standard of services for the chronically sick and disabled. Our criticism is that while some local authorities have gone steadily forward, others have stood still. We want a general improvement throughout Britain. We want the services available locally to chronically sick and disabled people to be of a uniformly high standard.

The Under-Secretary never for one moment addressed himself to the Government's deplorable failure to find parliamentary time to debate any of the reports presented to the House under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. He made no reference to the two reports which have been presented to the House under the terms of Section 22. Nor did he mention the reports which have been presented to us under the terms of Section 17. Instead of indulging in party points, he might have explained why this House is not entitled to debate extremely important documents presented to it by the Secretary of State. The Under-Secretary also said that it was easy to identify the physically handicapped. He went on to say that it is not so easy to identify the mentally handicapped and mentally ill.

My hon. Friend the Member for Woolwich, East (Mr. Mayhew) rightly reminded him that the Act is as applicaable to the mentally handicapped and mentally ill as it is to the physically handicapped and physically ill. If the Undersecretary is right, however, and it is so easy to identify the physically handicapped, why have so many local authorities failed to identify a much bigger proportion of the physically handicapped in their areas?

I feel I should inform the House about one point that has not been mentioned in our earlier debates on disablement. The Under-Secretary of State sought to lecture the House tonight on the statutory requirements vouchsafed by the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. May I now confide to him that Sir John Fiennes, who was the senior parliamentary draftsman to the present Government as he was to the previous Government, gave a great deal of his time and dedication to the fellowship of people who worked with me on the Act to ensure that it had no defects in the duties it laid on local authorities or in any other respect. I prefer the expertise of Sir John to the viewpoint so hastily given today by the Under-Secretary of State.

The hon. Member for Newbury (Mr. Astor) made a distinguished contribution to the debate. He knows that the 1970 Act became law entirely without parliamentary animus and with Parliament's clear and unanimous intention that it would be implemented locally in the same atmosphere of co-operation. It was not for the Under-Secretary of State to try to inject party animus into the debate.

One of our colleagues is sadly missed today. I refer to my hon. Friend the Member for Eccles (Mr. Carter-Jones), who made such powerful contributions to our earlier debates. He is not with us because his wife is seriously ill. She is in hospital, and I know that the thoughts of right hon. and hon. Members on both sides of the House will be with my hon. Friend this evening. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] My hon. Friend asked me by telephone this afternoon to say that what the disabled need more than anything else is better assessment facilities to show what they can achieve. I am sure that the Under-Secretary of State will recognise that as an extremely important matter. Unfortunately, I can refer to my hon. Friend's point only briefly because of the extreme pressure on time.

Section 1 of the 1970 Act is the master key to the main problem. It lays a duty, not a discretion, on local authorities to inform themselves of the numbers and needs of handicapped people in their areas. That is an entirely new duty laid on local authorities. Yet there are still about 750,000 unidentified cases of very severe disablement in Britain today. The report from Social Policy Research, commissioned by the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases, adds greatly to our knowledge about the identification of severely disabled people by local authorities and the services provided locally for them.

I pay tribute to those who prepared the report for Social Policy Research. The voluntary organisations have played their full part in seeking to ensure the full and humane implementation of the Act. As the House knows, there has been an important report today from the Central Council for the Disabled.

There are those who have sought to criticise some of the figures which appear in the report. But it is not for the Government to criticise those who seek to inform this House of the comparative performances of local authorities. My hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South last year pressed the Prime Minister to present us with authoritative information on the implementation of the Act by local authorities. The Prime Minister appeared to say that it would be misleading to present the House with such information. His attitude appeared to be one of "not before the children". He is not alone in appearing to feel that we should be silent about the differences in local provision for the severely disabled. I would say to the Secretary of State, as to his ministerial colleagues at the Ministry, that they must at the earliest possible date give us definitive information on how local authorities throughout the country are meeting their new responsibilities under the Act.

We have had enormous help from young people. If I were a member of the younger generation, I should be heartily sick of the bad publicity afforded them by much of the Press. The fact is that tens of thousands of young people in every part of the country have assisted local authorities to identify the disabled under the provisions of the Act.

The Under-Secretary of State wrote to me to say that he had emphasised to one county authority that Section 1 of the Act lays a duty—not a discretion—upon local authorities; he wrote to the Clerk of Cornwall County Council asking him to bring it to the attention of the social services committee at its next meeting with a view to considering what further steps should be taken to discharge that authority's statutory duty. He went on to say that he would be keeping a personal eye on developments. If the hon. Gentleman can write in such terms to Cornwall, why not to authorities which are shown by the National Fund report to be defaulting authorities under the Act? If the Central Council for the Disabled can identify defaulting authorities, why is it not possible for the Department of State to identify them? The Under-Secretary of State must recognise that he has the rôle of leadership in this field. It is not for us—we are not in executive Government—to ensure full implementation of this legislation. I said that we accept the hon. Gentleman's sincerity. We hope that he will now show that he is not prepared for the unanimous decision of this House to be cast aside by anyone in local government.

My view has always been that we should praise the good, not condemn the bad. I note from the report commissioned by the National Fund that one-third of authorities are what might be called "bad" authorities. That implies that two-thirds of the local authorities may be called "good" authorities. The Under-Secretary must recognise, like his hon. Friend the Member for Newbury and other of his hon. Friends, that I have always said that we must praise the good rather than condemn the bad. Nevertheless, neither must we condemn those who seek to show the House that many local authorities are not fulfilling their statutory responsibilities.

I should like to tell the House a tale of two children. They are both very severely disabled, and they live only 25 miles apart. Gillian is 13 years old. She has to wear an artificial leg, and has badly deformed arms. She is a pupil at the Telford School for physically handicapped children. She has had every possible help from Manchester's social services department. She has already received around £600 in aid, including a bathroom conversion, with a £250 electronically-operated toilet and special taps for the wash basin and bath. All her travelling expenses to and from hospital, including visits to a hospital in the London area, have been paid for by the local authority. Her mother says: There has been an ambulance to take me to the train and one to meet me at the other end. It has never cost me a penny. The other child is Sandra. She lives in the area of Lancashire County Council. She was born without legs, a short right arm, badly deformed fingers and deformed hips. She formerly went to a special school at Standish, near Wigan, but now attends an ordinary mixed day school near her home. Her mother, a 32-year-old part-time nurse, says: Over the years, I have had many visits from a local authority occupational therapist, at which help has been promised, but nothing has ever come of it. Sandra's mother is anxious to have a special hoist to enable her daughter to get into and out of the bath. She says: I have been promised one, but nothing ever happens. She also says that, over the years, she and her husband have spent at least £200 out of their own pockets on travelling with Sandra to hospitals around the country and on overnight accommodation: I have tried hospital almoners, social workers, the Social Services Department, just about everyone, but I have not been able to get a halfpenny back. It is intolerable that disabled people should be treated so differently by different local authorities. Why should these two children be treated so differently by Manchester County Borough and Lancashire County Council? I hope that the Under-Secretary will emphasise tonight that there is no question of any of the Government's £3 million fund for congenitally handicapped children being used to prop up the local authorities which are failing to meet their responsibilities under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act. He must make that clear beyond a scintilla of doubt. If he does not, then he is letting the bad authorities off the hook and penalising those which are fully implementing the Act.

There is a great deal of meanness in these matters. My hon. Friend the Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Mr. Pendry) put to me earlier this evening the case of his constituent Mr. John Graham Kelly. To quote from a statement by the medical practitioner for and on behalf of the Attendance Allowance Board: With regard to the day conditions, I accept that Mr. Kelly requires frequent attention throughout the day in connection with his bodily functions. With regard to the night conditions, I note from the medical report dated 24th November 1972 that Mrs. Kelly has to get up to help her husband to go to the toilet or get a drink and this occurs about 3–4 times a week. However, the need for urination could be reduced by omitting the drinking and I do not accept that he requires prolonged or repeated attention during the night in connection with his bodily functions. So far as supervision is concerned, I note that he cannot get out of bed and there is, therefore, no propensity to danger during the night. That is a very harsh statement. Does the Minister think that Mr. Kelly should be denied a drink so that he might fit in neatly with some very strict rules of entitlement?

We are beaten by time tonight. I had meant to refer at length to what has not been done in research and development. I hope that the Under-Secretary will accept a number of documents from the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases which I intend to send him. Those documents will show that the second report presented under Section 22 of the Act is even more unsatisfactory than the first. I ask the hon. Gentleman to consult his right hon. and hon. Friends about the need for a full-ranging debate on research and development at the earliest possible date.

As many of my hon. Friends pointed out, the employment problems of severely disabled people are scandalous. There is now over 13 per cent. unemployment amongst employable disabled people throughout Britain, and in the North-West the figure is over 15 per cent.

I had meant to refer to Sections 25 and 27 of the Act which affect deaf-blind, autistic and dyslectic children, but time is not available. All that we on this side want—and I am sure that our view is shared by many on the Government benches—is to end the serene satisfaction in public authorities by which many hundreds of thousands of disabled people are still oppressed. My measure had the single aim of extending the welfare, improving the status and enhancing the dignity of the long-term sick and disabled. That was our aim then. It is our aim now. We feel that our motion is couched in very moderate terms and that there is no reason whatever why it should be opposed.

9.52 p.m.

Mr. Alison

With permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to try to wind up this debate in the tone which the hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) adopted and to deal with as many points as the few minutes at my disposal will allow.

I associate myself and my right hon. Friends—all of us on the Government side—with the expressions of regret at the absence of the hon. Member for Eccles (Mr. Carter-Jones). We agree that few people have taken such a long-term and self-sacrificing interest in this field as has the hon. Member, particularly in connection with POSSUM, with which he has been so intimately associated.

Against the background of the continuing rather sweeping accusations of incompetence or irresponsibility on the part of local authorities—and the hon. Member himself cited a case from Lancashire—one must once again emphasise the fact that it is quite misleading on the basis of the figures of the Institute of Municipal Treasurers published in The Times today to draw a general conclusion about how local authorities are doing. My right hon. Friend has taken steps to ensure that figures are available —they will be available later this year and the House will be informed of them —but it is not possible in the meantime, in the absence of various relevant factors about the situation, to make meaningful accusations of shortcomings and irresponsibility as so many hon. Members have sought to do.

The hon. Member for Wythenshawe gave a Lancashire example. My right hon. Friend was in the county of Lancaster today. He talked to the Director of Social Services, who was able to tell him that, for example, in respect of adaptations of homes of the handicapped, expenditure in 1971–72, our first full year in office, was £34,000. The estimate for the year 1973–74 is no less than £159,000. This represents a five-fold increase in that county.

Again, the figures published in The Times today inevitably exclude a whole range of services provided, for example, for the mentally handicapped, in whom many hon. and right hon. Members on both sides take a very great interest. I note that the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley) made no reference to the services for the mentally handicapped or the mentally ill which either the central Government or local government are providing. These figures do not appear in The Times figures today simply because they do not appear in that section of statistics about a selected group of the chronically sick and disabled to whom the Act applies. But the mentally handicapped are at least as much in need, and a great deal is being done for them by local authorities.

Huge steps have been taken to improve the volume of home nursing and home helps. The 18½ per cent. increase in the number of home helps available as a result of the steps taken by this Government in the past three years would not itself have been reflected in the IMTA figures about which so much time has been spent in debate. In fact they are extremely relevant to the needs of the disabled.

How can we take account of the extra cost involved in deploying generic social workers to look after all sorts of conditions of people, some disabled and some not disabled? It is virtually impossible to make an allocation of the amount spent in this connection on the disabled, and practically any selection of figures about what the local authorities are doing is bound to be misleading.

Local authorities are singled out for criticism time and again. But anyone looking at the facts will find that they have changed the basis of their accounting since the figures were first put forward or that there is a whole range of other services which no one has noticed that they are performing. As I said just now, we shall let the hon. Member for Wythenshawe have details. They will become available and will be published this summer as soon as my right hon. Friend receives and collates them. Only then will it be fair to make true comparisons.

I now touch briefly on one or two of the other points raised in the debate. The hon. Member for Willesden, West (Mr. Pavitt) mentioned deafness. I want to stress our interest in this subject not only because of the hon. Gentleman's own interest and disability but because of that of the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South, who opened the debate so impressively. I welcome the point made by the

hon. Member for Willesden, West. I know of his interest in Section 24 and I echo his tribute to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South. I assure both hon. Members that my right hon. Friend and I are studying very carefully the Medical Research Council report. This is not just an empty promise. As evidence of that my Department is now engaged in a overall review of services for deaf people in which I am taking a personal interest on the direct instructions of my right hon. Friend who himself is deeply concerned with this disability.

The problems are enormous, stemming largely from shortages of trained staff. But although we have a long road to travel to bring services to the point that we should like to see them, we are determined to identify the gaps as precisely as possible and to work out a comprehensive plan for filling them.

Having listened to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South, and to the hon. Member for Wythenshawe, the terms of the motion still strike us as being a ludicrous exercise in failing to perceive the real needs of the disabled. The total implementation of the Act called for by the motion is a political gimmick. It does no good to the true needs of the disabled against the perspective of a steady increase across the board in financial and other measures that this Government have brought forward. They are increases and improvements which are without precedent in the scale that has been achieved in so short a time.

Without hesitation, I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to reject the terms of the motion.

Question put:—

The House divided: Ayes 260, Noes 285.

Division No. 100.] AYES [10.0 p.m.
Abse, Leo Blenkinsop, Arthur Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Boardman, H. (Leigh) Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Booth, Albert Clark, David (Colne Valley)
Ashley, Jack Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.)
Ashton, Joe Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Cohen, Stanley
Atkinson, Norman Bradley, Tom Coleman, Donald
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Broughton, Sir Alfred Concannon, J. D.
Barnes, Michael Brown, Robert C. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne, W.) Conian, Bernard
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Corbet, Mrs. Freda
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.)
Beaney, Alan Buchan, Norman Crawshaw, Richard
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Cronin, John
Bennett, James (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Bidwell, Sydney Cant, R. B. Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard
Bishop, E. S. Carmichael, Neil Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.)
Cunningham, Or. J. A. (Whitehaven) John, Brynmor Panned, Fit. Hn. Charles
Dalyell, Tam Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Pardoe, John
Davidson, Arthur Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Pavitt, Laurie
Davies Ifor (Gower) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Davis Clinton (Hackney, C.) Jones,Rt.Hn.SirElwyn(W.Ham,S.) Pendry, Tom
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Perry, Ernest G.
Deakins, Eric Judd, Frank Prescott, John
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Kaufman, Gerald Price, William (Rugby)
Delargy Hugh Kelley, Richard Probert, Arthur
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Kerr, Russell Radice, Giles
Dempsey James Kinnock, Neil Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Doig Peter Lambie, David Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Dormand J.D. Lamborn, Harry Rhodes, Geoffrey
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lamond, James Richard, Ivor
Douglas-Mann Bruce Latham, Arthur Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Driberg Tom Lawson, George Roberts,Rt.Hn.Goronwy(Caernarvon)
Duffy A. E. P. Leadbitter, Ted Robertson, John (Paisley)
Dunn, James A. Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Roderick, Caerwyn E.(Brc'n&R'dnor)
Dunnett, Jack Leonard, Dick Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Eadie, Alex. Lestor, Miss Joan Rowlands, Ted
Edelman Maurice Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)l Sandelson, Neville
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Lipton, Marcus Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Ellis, Tom Lomas, Kenneth Short, Rt.Hn.Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
English Michael Loughlin, Charles Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton.N.E.)
Evans Fred Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Ewing, Harry Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
Faulds, andrew Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Sillars, James
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E McBride, Neil Silverman, Julius
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. McCartney, Hugh Skinner, Dennis
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) McElhone, Frank Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Fletcher, Ted (Darlinton) McGuire, Michel Spearing, Nigel
Ford, Ben Machin, George Spriggs, Leslie
Forrester, John Stallard, A. W.
Fraser, John (Norwood) Mackenize, Gregor Steel, David
Freeson, Reginald Mackie, John Steel, David
Galpern, Sir Myer Mackintosh, John P. Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael
Garrett, W. E. McMillan, Tom(Glasgow, C.) Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Gilbert, Dr. John Mc Namera, J. Kevin Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Strang, Gavin
Golding, john Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Gourlay, Harry Marks, Kenneth Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Marsden, F.
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy Taverne, Dick
Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Mayhew, Christopher Thomas.Rt.Hn.George (Cardiff.W.)
Griffiths, Eddie (Brighside) Meacher, Michael Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Tinn, James
Grimond, Rt Hn. J. Mendelson, John Tope, Graham
Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Torney, Tom
Hamling, William Mikardo, lan Tuck, Raphael
Hannan, William (G'gow, Maryhill) Millan, Bruce Urwin, T.W.
Hardy, Peter Miller, Dr. M. S Varley, Eric G.
Harper, Joseph Milne, Edward Wainwright, Edwin
Harrison Walter (Wakefield) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen) Walden, Brian (B-m'ham, All Saints)
Hart Rt'Hn Judith Molloy, William Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Hattersley, Roy Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Wallace, George
Healey Rt' Hn Denis Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Watkins, David
Heffer, Eric S. Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon) Weitzman, David
Hilton, W. S. Moyle, Roland Wellbeloved, James
Hooson Emlyn Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
Horam John Murray, Ronald King White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Oakes, Gordon Whitehead, Phillip
Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Ogden, Eric Whitlock, William
Huckfield, Leslie O'Halloran, Michael Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Hughes, Mark (Durham) O'Malley, Brian Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Oram, Bert Williams, W. T. (Warrington)
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Orbach, Maurice Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Hunter, Adam Orme, Stanley Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Oswald, Thomas Woof, Robert
Janner, Greville Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Padley, Walter Mr. Ernest Armstrong and
Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Paget, R. T. Mr. James Hamilton.
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Palmer, Arthur
Adley, Robert Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Berry, Hn. Anthony
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Balniel, Rt. Hn. Lord Biffen, John
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Blaker, Peter
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Batsford, Brian Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.)
Astor, John Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Body, Richard
Atkins, Humphrey Bell, Ronald Boscawen, Hn. Robert
Awdry, Daniel Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Bossom, Sir Clive
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Benyon, W. Bowden, Andrew
Braine, Sir Bernard Hastings, Stephen Onslow, Cranley
Bray, Ronald Havers, Michael Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally
Brewis, John Hawkins, Paul Owen, Idris (Stockporl, N.)
Brinton, Sir Tatton Hayhoe, Barney Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby)
Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher Heselline, Michael Page, John (Harrow, W.)
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Hicks, Robert Parkinson, Cecil
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Higgins, Terence L. Peel, John
Bryan Sir Paul Hiley, Joseph Percival, Ian
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus.N&M) Hill, John E. B. (Norfolk, S.) Peyton, Rt. Hn. John
Buck Antony Holland, Philip Pike, Miss Mervyn,
Bullus, Sir Eric Holt, Miss Mary Pink, R. Bonner
Burden F. A. Hordern, Peter Pounder, Rafton
Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Hornby, Richard Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch
Campbell. Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn) Howe, Hn. Sir Geoffrey (Reigate) Price, David (Eastleigh)
Carlisle Mark Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Carr Rt. Hn. Robert Hunt, John Proudfoot, Wilfred
Cary Sir Robert Hutchison, Michael Clark Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Channon Paul Iremonger, T. L. Quennell, Miss J. M.
Chapman, Sydney Irvine, Bryant, T. L. Raison, Timothy
Chichester-Clark R. James, David Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Churchill, W. S. Jessel, Toby Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Redmond, Robert
Clark, Kenneth(Rushcliffe) Jones, Arthur (Northants, s.) Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Cockeram Eric Jopling, Michael Rees, Peter (Dover)
Cooke Robert Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Rees-Davies, W. R.
Coombs Derek Kaberry, Sir Donald Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Cooper, A. E. Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon
Cordle, John Kershaw, Anthony Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Corfield, Rt, Hn. Sir Frederick Kimball, Marcus Ridsdale, Julian
King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)
Cormack, Patrick King, Tom (Bridgwater) Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Costain, A. P. Kinsey, J. R. Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Crowder, F. P. Kirk, Peter Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Kitson, Timothy Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack Knight, Mrs. Jill Rost, Peter
Dean, Paul Knox, David Royle, Anthony
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W.F. Lambton, Lord Russell, Sir Ronald
Digby, Simon Wingfield Lamont, Norman St. John-Stevas, Norman
Dixon, Piers Lane, David Scott, Nicholas
Douglas-Home, Rt. Hn. Sir Alec Langford-Holt Sir John Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh& Whitby)
Drayson, G.B. Le Marchant, Spencer Shelton, William (Clapham)
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Shersby, Michael
Dykes, Hugh Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Simeons, Charles
Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John Loveridge, John Sinclair, Sir George
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Luce, R. N. Skeet, T. H. H.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McAdden Sir Stephen Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Elliott, R.W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) MacArthur Ian Soret, Harold
Emery, Peter McCrindle, R. A. Speed, Keith
Eyre, Reginald McLaren, Martin Spence, John
Farr, John Maclean Sir Fitzroy Sproat, lain
Fell, Anthony McMaster, Stanley Stainton, Keith
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy Macmillan, Rt.Hn.Maurice(Farnham) Stanbrook, Ivor
Fidler, Michael McNair-Wilson Michael Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maddan, Martin Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Fookes, Miss Janet Madel David Stokes, John
Fortescue, Tim Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Foster, Sir John Marten Neil Sutcliffe, John
Fowler, Norman Mather' Carol Tapsell, Peter
Fox, Marcus Maude Angus Taylor, Edward M.(G'gow, Cathcart)
Fraser, Rt.Hn.Hugh(St'fford & Stone) Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Fry, Peter Mawby, Ray Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Gardner Edward Maxwell-Hyslop R. J. Tebbit, Norman
Gibson-Watt, David Meyer, Sir Anthony Temple, John M.
Glyn, Dr. Alan Mills, Peter (Torrington) Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Goodhart, Philip Miscampbell, Norman Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Goodhew, Victor Mitchell,Lt.-Col.C.(Aberdeenshire,W) Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Gorst, John Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Gower Raymond Moate, Roger Tilney, John
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Money, Ernie Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Gray, Hamish Monks, Mrs. Connie Trew, Peter
Green, Alan Monro, Hector Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Grieve Percy Montgomery, Fergus van Straubenzee, W. R.
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) More, Jasper Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Grylls, Michael Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Vickers, Dame Joan
Gummer, J. Selwyn Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Waddington, David
Gurden, Harold Morrison, Charles Walder, David (Clitheroe
Hall Miss Joan (Keighley) Mudd, David Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Hall, John (Wycombe) Murton, Oscar Walker-Smith. Rt. Hn. Sir Derek
Hall Davis, A. G. F. Nabarro, Sir Gerald Walters, Dennis
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Neave, Airey Ward, Dame Irene
Hannam, John (Exeter) Nicholls, Sir Harmar Wells, John (Maidstone)
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael White, Roger (Gravesend)
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Normanton, Tom Wiggin, Jerry
Haselhurst, Alan Nott, John Wilkinson, John
Winterton, Nicholas Woodnutt, Mark TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick Worsley, Marcus Mr. Waller Clegg and
Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R. Mr. Bernard Weatherill.
Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher Younger, Hn. George

Question accordingly negatived.