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I am sure that, like me, the hon. Lady the Member for Melton (Miss Pike) feels that we have come to the end of a marathon. I was worried on several occasions during our proceedings today that we would not complete our deliberations on the Bill. However, we have, and I say "Thank you" to the hon. Lady, her team on the Front Bench opposite, and all her hon. Friends for the undoubted help which they have given us in reaching this stage of the Bill at this time. I also thank my hon. Friends who, time and again, have held themselves back because they were anxious that we should complete our discussions, although I know that they would have liked to have taken part in them.
Having reached this stage, it means that the Bill will be on the Statute Book before we rise for the Summer Recess. I take this opportunity to ask all hon. Members, from the time the Measure reaches the Statute Book until we begin to make payments, to point out in their constituencies and wherever else they speak in the country the importance of the Bill and to explain to everyone, particularly the elderly, what they can get as of right under the Bill. In this way we will be able to ensure that the financial help available in these provisions goes to the 250,000 old people who are at present living well below National Assistance Board levels. It is the desire of the whole nation that these people should be helped.
I conclude by again saying "Thank you" to all the officials of the Departments who have played an important part in the work which had to be done to get the provisions ready, and saying to the officials of the new Ministry, "We are giving you a very big job to do. We shall ask for your devoted service and I am sure that we shall get it".