HC Deb 23 April 1940 vol 360 c38W
Mr. Garro Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is considering the representations from Scottish health insurance committees urging that arrangements should be made to provide medical treatment for dependants of insured persons serving with His Majesty's Forces?

Mr. Colville

Careful consideration has been given to these, and other similar representations, by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Health, and myself, in consultation with all the Departments concerned. The conclusion reached by the Government is that they cannot fairly distinguish for this purpose between dependants of men serving with the Armed Forces and dependants of insured persons in civil occupations. As the hon. Member will be aware, the question of extending medical benefit to the dependants of all insured persons is one which has been sympathetically considered from time to time, but the Government do not consider that in present circumstances they would be justified in proposing so far-reaching a development of social policy. The reply, therefore to the representations which have been received must be that the Government are unable to adopt the suggestion made. I should add that in the great majority of cases the pay and allowances provided by the Service Departments should be sufficient to enable the cost of medical treatment to be met and that the War Service Grants Advisory Committee have power to supplement such pay and allowances in cases of exceptional hardship resulting from the change brought about in the financial position of the family by reason of the man's war service.