§ 5. Mr. Simmons
asked the Minister of Health whether he will state the numbers of motor tricycles issued to war disabled pensioners and the numbers issued to National Health Service patients; and whether, in view of the special circumstances in which war pensioners sustained their disabilities, he will now extend the regulations to ensure that all war pensioners who have had both legs amputated are entitled to receive a mechanically propelled vehicle at State expense.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
At the end of March in England and Wales, 1,778 power propelled tricycles were on issue to war pensioners and 10,655 to National Health Service patients. Eligibility depends on the degree of loss of use of the legs and, in those less seriously disabled, on employment needs also, and a number of war pensioners with double amputations below the knee as well as double amputees with at least one amputation above the knee are eligible on these grounds. My right hon. and learned Friend is not satisfied that he would be justified in varying the present practice.
§ Mr. Simmons
Has there been any variation in the qualification for the vehicles since the merger between the Ministry of Pensions and the hon. Gentleman's Ministry in respect of the 9 scheme, and how many of the vehicles are the all-weather type of self-propelled tricycles?
§ Mr. Thompson
In reply to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, there have been no variations. If the hon. Gentleman will give me notice of the point raised in the second part of his supplementary question, I shall be glad to give him the information.