asked the Minister of Health the procedure adopted in the provision of identity cards in the case of people brought into this country who have lost all their possessions through enemy action; and is he aware that in some cases hardship is inflicted through the inability of people to obtain food cards and clothing coupons until they have received an identity card?
The issue of substitute identity cards in replacement of those lost or destroyed by enemy action is governed by the same procedure as that adopted in the case of cards lost or destroyed by other means. While the former cases are treated as of special urgency, it is not possible to dispense with the safeguards provided by that procedure since enemy action has been alleged as the ground for a number of fraudulent applications. I am advised that, where necessary, emergency food ration cards and clothing coupons are issued before registration; and I have no reason to believe that any hardship is occasioned by the existing arrangements in these cases. I should be prepared, however, to consider any particular cases which my hon. Friend may wish to bring to my notice.
Sometimes people come into this country from abroad on ships which have been torpedoed, having been subsequently picked up, and they arrive here with no means of identification at all. Could not temporary food and clothing cards be issued?
That is the general procedure, and if there has been a slip anywhere, I shall be glad to know about it; but, as my answer said, we must be sure that there is no basis for fraud.