§ 57. Mr. Westwood
asked the Minister of Health whether he can now state what action he proposes to take on the representations made by the Joint Council of Qualified Opticians against the draft regulations for the administration of ophthalmic benefit which were issued on 27th November, 1936?
§ The Minister of Health (Sir Kingsley Wood)
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which was given on 26th January to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Captain Macnamara). The substantive Regulations will be issued without any avoidable delay.
§ 68. Mr. G. Griffiths
asked the Minister of Health the approximate number of persons between the ages of 60 and 65 years who are at present insured under the National Health and Contributory Pensions Acts?
§ Sir K. Wood
In the middle of 1936, which is the latest date for which information is available, the number of persons between the ages of 60 and 65 who were insured under the National Health Insurance and Contributory Pensions Acts was, estimated to be 850,000.
§ Mr. Griffiths
Does the Minister know that when the majority of these people reach 65 years of age, if they are unemployed and if the wife is not 65 years of age, they suffer a reduction in their incomes of 16s. per week, and will he do something to relieve this kind of distress?
§ The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Chamberlain)
I understand the hon. Member to refer to a non-contributory addition to the benefits of the contributory pensions scheme. In that case the answer is in the negative. Similar proposals have been made in the past, and it has not been found practicable to adopt them.