War Disablement Pensioners (Vehicle Conversion)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th August 1966.

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Photo of Mrs Jill Knight Mrs Jill Knight , Birmingham, Edgbaston 12:00 am, 8th August 1966

asked the Minister of Health whether he will now consider revising the regulations governing the circumstances whereby the cost of converting vehicles to hand controls for war-disabled pensioners can be borne by his Department.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Charles Longhlin):

My right hon. Friend will be considering this matter in the course of his current review of our vehicle services for the disabled.

Photo of Mrs Jill Knight Mrs Jill Knight , Birmingham, Edgbaston

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that reply. While he is considering these matters, would he bear in mind also that the Minister of Transport forbids severely war-disabled pensioners to drive a car unless it has been converted to hand controls? Would he not agree that to base the permission for such conversion on whether the amputation is above the knee or two inches below is both mean and harsh?

Mr. Longhlin:

I am not prepared to enter into dispute with the hon. Lady as to whether some of the regulations administered by the preceding Government were harsh or otherwise. All I can say is that we are considering the matter. The difficulty is that it involves a new principle but we will look at it while we are doing the whole job.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that this is a reasonable request, bearing in mind that the last major review took place in the summer of 1964? Could he give some information about when the current review is likely to be presented to the House?

Photo of Mr Charles Loughlin Mr Charles Loughlin , Gloucestershire West

It may be a reasonable request and the last review may have taken place in 1964, but it did not include this matter. We will complete the review as quickly as possible; I am not prepared to go further than that today.