§ 4.34 p.m.
§ Mr. Charles A. Howell (Birmingham, Perry Bar)
I beg to move,That this House calls upon Her Majesty's Government to introduce arrangements forthwith to supply, on the same basis of entitlement, workers in industry who have suffered serious disability arising out of and in the course of their employment with the same types of road vehicles as are now supplied to disabled ex-Service men.Mr. Speaker, are you proposing to call the Amendment in the name of the right hon. Lady the Member for Chislehurst (Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith)?
§ Mr. Howell
I am not prepared to accept the Amendment. It adds nothing to my Motion, it has no connection with it, and it has no bearing upon it. The Amendment is obviously in order, but it seeks to do something different from what the Motion seeks to do.
We often hear the expression "The luck of the draw". On this occasion I do not regard the luck of the draw as something personal. To me, this is the achievement of an ambition to leave the world a better place than I found it. This Motion is an example of British democracy, where the strong protect and look after the weak. It is an English characteristic that we even help lame dogs over stiles. I am certain that all able-bodied Members in the House would try to help an injured person, even though they had no first-aid qualifications for doing so. One of the things which has encouraged me enormously is that a number of hon. Gentlemen opposite have congratulated me not only on being successful in the Ballot, but on my choice of subject. I take some comfort from the fact that the House as a whole believes in protecting and helping those who need such help and protection.
I do not intend to attack the Government. I do not intend to attack individual Ministers as such. The fact is that a conglomeration of Ministers have a responsibility in this matter, 1050 and that very few people know who bears the responsibility for making the final decision. Various Ministers have either a moral or a legal responsibility, and perhaps it might help those about whom I am concerned if I list the Ministers whom I regard as having a responsibility in the matter.
The Minister of Pensions and National Insurance has a legal responsibility, because he is the sole custodian of the Industrial Injuries Act. As a trade union official, I was closely connected with the working of this Act before I came to the House. The Minister of Health also has a legal responsibility, under the National Health Service Act. The Minister of Labour has a moral responsibility, because the people about whom I am concerned should be his concern. He should be concerned with their welfare, not only when they are working, but, more important, when they cannot work, or when they have difficulty in getting to work. Finally, there is the Prime Minister himself, who presides over the Cabinet which decides Government policy. Later, I shall refer to the policy-making aspect of this problem.
The sting of the Motion is in the tail, because it calls on the Government to provide those who have suffered serious disability during the course of their employmentwith the same types of road vehicles as are now supplied to disabled ex-Service men.For a short period the right hon. Lady the Member for Chislehurst was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. I do not like to be offensive to any hon. Member, let alone to the right hon. Lady, but I cannot for the life of me understand why she did not do something about this question when she was at the Ministry. Apart from the honour that was bestowed on her, she did not leave the Ministry with many medals. She would, however, have received a medal as big as a banjo from the miners and others in the condition to which I am drawing attention if she had done something to help them.
What the right hon. Lady seeks to do passes my comprehension. She seeks toextend the categories of persons who are entitled to invalid vehicles.1051 As far as I am aware, everybody is included somewhere. The right hon. Lady proposes to extend the categories of people entitled to these vehicles, but, if her Amendment were accepted, they would be precluded from being supplied with motor cars. I am trying to ensure that these people are provided with motor cars as opposed to petrol-driven tricycles. I cannot, therefore, see the point of merely extending the categories of persons entitled to be supplied with invalid vehicles.
If any people have been forgotten she should have provided for them when she was in the Ministry, and not waited until an Opposition Member succeeded in the Ballot and brought the matter forward. In fact, the Government have been resisting the pleas of the T.U.C. and all the trade unions concerned year after year in connection with this matter.
When the T.U.C. went to the Minister of Pensions—the Minister who is specifically charged with responsibility under the Industrial Injuries Act, and who has the right, under Section 75 of that Act, to provide vehicles for disabled people—he declined to do anything, on the ground that this was the responsibility of the Minister of Health. This is the sort of thing that we were discussing earlier this afternoon, in connection with the rights of Members. One of the first things I learned when I came here was that we create Acts of Parliament, but other people interpret them—the judges, and so on. Interpretation is not for us. But it seems as though the Government interpret these Measures. It would seem that all Bills should contain the provision "subject to Cabinet approval, alteration or modification."
Although, under a certain Act, a Minister may be charged with responsibility, we often find that that responsibility has been transferred, as in the case of Questions this afternoon. Under Section 75 of the Industrial Injuries Act the Minister of Pensions is responsible for providing these vehicles, but we find that in reality the Minister of Health is responsible. He is taking on this job, on Government responsibility.
I do not think that any hon. Members opposite would want to sneer at the T.U.C., and think of it as a collection of 1052 ignoramuses. It is a body of intelligent individuals. But the T.U.C. has been as puzzled as I have been on many occasions in trying to discover which Minister is responsible under the Act. I am no different from other hon. Members. I am not alone in having received a reply from a Minister to whom I have written saying, "Sorry, this is not my Department." This sort of thing must have happened to hon. Members on both sides of the House. The T.U.C. found themselves in some difficulty when they tried to do what I am trying to do today.
I have referred to the Industrial Injuries Act because the provisions of Section 25 can be implemented tomorrow if the Government so wish. There is no need for any amending regulations, or for any regulations at all. The necessary provisions are inherent in the existing Act of Parliament. If, in reply, the Minister says, "I cannot do this for the people about whom the hon. Member has been talking because other people will be left out if I do," I appeal to him to bring everybody in. Let them all come. They are all welcome, as injured people. These people are entitled not only to our sympathy, but to our help. We are told that a little help is worth a lot of sympathy. I am trying to provide it.
I am convinced that Section 75 gives the Government the right to act immediately. That is why the Motion contains the word "forthwith". It is an old railway trade union term meaning "immediately ". I do not know what the Scottish term is; I believe that it used to be "outwith". There will be no dubiety in anyone's mind that what I am after is the immediate implementation of existing provisions.
The T.U.C. wrote to the Minister of Pensions and was told that this was a matter for the Minister of Health. The Minister of Pensions deals with the Industrial Injuries Act and the Minister of Health with the National Health Service Act, yet both Ministers have the same conditions in their hands. The Minister of Health has been doing a very good job of work. I know of dozens of cases throughout Britain in which people have been given a new life by the provision of these vehicles.
1053 But the first condition is that these people must be crippled, or must at least have lost the use, either temporarily or in considerable part, of both legs. Alady in my constituency has one of these motorised vehicles. Without it she is completely house-fast; she cannot get about at all. She tells me that with it she can do work with the W.V.S. and with the Girl Guides, and can lead practically a normal life. But without that vehicle she would not be able to do it. She would not be able to afford it. Here I wish to pay tribute to the generous way in which the Ministry of Health has been dealing with many of these cases.
§ Mr. Norman Cole (Bedfordshire, South)
I am not unsympathetic to the principle of the Motion, but the position is a little complicated. I am here to be instructed. The hon. Member keeps referring to a vehicle. He might mean one or the other of two vehicles, with both of which we are familiar. Will he tell us whether he means a carriage or a motor car—because their allocation is made on different conditions.
§ Mr. Howell
I expected the hon. Member to support me. He is wrong in referring to two vehicles. There are three. The Act calls them appliances. It empowers the Minister to provide them. They can consist of two forms of invalid tricycle—motorised or electrically driven. I want there to be no mistake about this; I do not want to eliminate either the motorised or the electrically-driven tricycle. What I want the Government to do is to provide small motor cars where they will satisfy a particular need. Both the motorised tricycle and the electrically-driven tricycle have parts to play in this situation.
Yesterday, I drove through London with my wife. She said, "I do not know how anybody dares to drive through this traffic". She is not a good traveller. But if she were injured, and had lost the use of both legs, and needed a vehicle, she would never want a motor car. She would take an electrically-driven tricycle, because it moves at a slower speed. There may be times when, for physical or psychological reasons, the type of vehicle required is a slow moving one. In such a case it could be an electrically-driven vehicle.
1054 On the other hand, there is the person who is entirely alone and independent and who does not want any help. We call such people stubborn, or even pigheaded. They would probably want the petrol-driven motorised tricycle.
On the other hand, there are people who need assistance to get out of a vehicle. With the exception of war disabled people no one is provided with a motor car. I want the numbers to be extended. I want everyone who could use it to the best advantage to be able to obtain a small motor car, but to get this Motion on the Order Paper I have had to refer only to the industrially disabled. The Minister of Health, according to provisions of Section 75 of the Industrial Injuries Act, must be entitled to provide vehicles. Surely he can say, "I concede this and I will put the matter into operation immediately."
I am not decrying tricycles. They have been used successfully and I am not asking that they should be taken away. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not tell me that motor cars supplied to the disabled have proved a failure. If he is unable to say that, why cannot their use be extended to everyone else? Heaven forbid that they should be taken away from the disabled. The Government might question the cost, but where does the money come from to supply war disabled people with their vehicles? I suggest that it comes from the War Pensions Fund.
The tricycles provided for patients under the National Health Service scheme are paid for under the scheme. Many of the industrial disabled were told during the war years that they were fighting on the home front and were serving their country in exactly the same way as if they had been in the fighting forces. I do not wish to decry the war disabled. I do not think we can do sufficient for them. But if the use of these cars by war disabled people has proved successful that is an additional argument for providing them for the use of the industrial disabled and everyone else.
I am concerned about the attitude of the Government. The present situation was decided before the Minister took office. I do not know whether he thinks that things cannot be changed. At first, 1055 injured persons had invalid carriages which they could propel themselves and it was logical, with the evolution of mechanical transport, that petrol-driven and electrically-driven vehicles should be provided. Surely it is obvious that now we should think about giving them petrol-driven motor cars. Why does not the Minister do so? It cannot be lack of money, because there must be money which could be used under the provisions of the legislation for industry. We have been told that there is a large surplus.
The Minister told the T.U.C. that the provisions in the Industrial Injuries Act relate only to the provision of cash benefits. I do not think that that was ever intended. In my opinion, the wording of Section 75 is explicit and allows for the provision of appliances, etc. I would go so far as to say that the provisions of Section 75 would enable a Minister to use money for education and training so that accidents might be avoided. But if we are faced with the consequences of an accident we are under an obligation to provide the victim with the best appliance possible.
I do not know whether the Minister has up-to-date figures of how many people would be involved. I have done some research and the latest figures which I could find—they are 12 months old—indicate that 15,000 people use these vehicles and 2,500 of the vehicles are electrically driven. It is, therefore, fair to assume that very few people are enamoured of an electrically-driven invalid tricycle, or that 12,500 are petrol-driven.
I should give credit to the Minister because these people who have vehicles are provided with a shed in which to house the tricycle. Repairs and maintenance are carried out. The provision of 14 gallons of petrol affords some relief from the increase in the petrol tax. A National Health Service patient may have his motor car changed or adapted so that he can use the controls. But the Government are not too generous. The patient is allowed £70 once every five years, or he can have only one car in five years. That kind of allocation would not go down very well with those people who operate expense accounts and have a car every year. If the 1056 patient decides that his tricycle does not allow him to be accompanied by his wife, and he wishes to have his own motor car, he has to return the tricycle and the shed. I imagine that a number of people have paid themselves for the adaptation of a motor car rather than lose the use of a tricycle for going to work. They can then use the car at weekends.
I feel that the previous experience of the Minister before he assumed his present office will make him sympathetic towards my argument. I hope that I am pushing at an open door, or, at any rate, one which is not locked. Like myself, the right hon. Gentleman would appear to be in good health. At least, we are ablebodied and ought to see what we can do for those who are less fortunate. Many people think that we should be giving these disabled people something for nothing if they were provided with a motor car so that they could go out accompanied by their wives. If a man is totally disabled he cannot lead a normal life.
We have only to ask ourselves how would we feel if we suddenly lost the use of both legs. Our normal lives would end. If a man can go out occasionally with his wife, at least he has a vestige of a normal life. We ought to provide him with an opportunity to carry out, to some extent, a normal life. If there is any criticism that if we give a motor car to a disabled person he will take his wife out in it, then all I can say is, "For heaven's sake, why not?" Many of the disabled need the assistance of their wives when they get out of a car. I could cite case after case, but I will refrain from doing so because of the lack of time. But I beg of the Minister to enable these people to have something like a normal family life.
There is also a psychological reason. If a man is seen anywhere with one of these tricycles he is identified immediately as a disabled person, but if he is seen in a mini-car no one thinks anything about it. Why should we brand these people as second-class citizens because they have something wrong with them? After all, when we see disfigured people, it is probably more of an embarrassment to us than it is to them. Therefore, both psychologically and sociologically everything is in favour of my 1057 Motion that, where possible, we ought to supply the industrially disabled with exactly the same type of vehicle, and under the same conditions, as that supplied to the war disabled. What is good for one is good for another.
I am sure that no one in the war disabled class would want to consider himself as a privileged person. I am sure that they would all want the industrially disabled to have the same benefits that they are getting. I believe that 100 per cent. of them would say, "I cannot see any reason why anyone should be denied the right of a motor car such as we are getting".
What is the economic position? The basic cost of a mini-car is only £370 and, with conversion, it would cost probably another £40. The basic cost of a tricycle, according to the latest figures that I have, is approximately £325, so the difference is only £85, and that figure may have changed considerably during the last 12 months. To provide these people with the best would cost only another £85, and over a period of five to even 10 years the annual cost would be negligible.
I have been checking figures on the cost of maintenance. I find that in January, 1963, the Automobile Association published figures of the running costs of cars of less than 1,000 cc. The exact figures are £52 8s. a year. A month later, the Ministry of Health published the figures of the cost of maintenance of an invalid tricycle and the figures were £60, so the cost is £7 12s. more than for a small motor car.
Incidentally, I have not mentioned that the war disabled who have these motor cars get an allowance of £65. There is nothing in the Motion about that, but if the Minister of Health feels generous he can say, "I will not only give the hon. Gentleman what he is asking for, but give him something more". If he does that, he will have my best thanks.
Most of us, when we buy motor cars, have to consider the running costs. We know that there are small cars on the roads, today that would be adequate for the people who are crippled, and which run for 70 miles on a gallon of petrol. The cost would be reasonable, even with the price of petrol as it is today, including the terrific tax which the Government have put on it. I see no reason 1058 why all invalid carriages, whether motor powered or electrically driven, should not be exempt from tax. We had a debate some time ago about C.D. plates. I understand that people genuinely entitled to C.D. plates do not pay any tax. They do not pay Income Tax. I do not want to stop that—there may be a good reason for it—but if they can have this privilege, why cannot people who are crippled be exempt from car tax?
I believe that some tricycles under 6 cwt. are tax free, but I do not know of any motor cars that are tax free. What I am seeking is that the right of the war disabled to have motor cars should be extended to the industrial disabled under Section 75 of the National Insurance (industrial Injuries) Act. I should be delighted if the Minister would say, "There are some who are outside that Act and I will include them all."
It may well be that there is a need for each of these types of vehicles—the motor car, the petrol-driven tricycle and the electrically-driven tricycle. I say that we should keep them all for those who need them, but I do not see any reason why we should restrict the benefit of the motor car to the war disabled, who have obviously proved the value of this type of vehicle. My Motion covers the existing Act of Parliament and it is for that reason that I use the argument in favour of the industrially disabled under the Act.
If there is anything in the British characteristic of helping those most in need, I would not say that these are the people in most need today, but I would say that they are the people who are in need of a facility which we in this House and the Government have the right already to give them. All I am asking is for the Minister of Health, on behalf of the Government, to accept that responsibility and extend the facility of a motor car to every disabled man or woman who needs one, so that he or she may become again a useful 100 per cent. citizen. Let us be proud of the scheme that we have created and which we could operate for the benefit of everyone.
§ 5.10 p.m.
§ Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith (Chislehurst)
I beg to move, to leave out from 1059 the first "to" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof:extend the categories of persons who are entitled to invalid vehicles.First I congratulate the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) on his good fortune in the Ballot and on choosing a subject which is of great general interest to both sides of this House. Although he said that he was not going to attack hon. Members on this side of the House, in the next sentence he attacked me. Perhaps I should remind him that since 1950 the number of pensioners' cars was very considerably increased by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health and that I happened to be at the Ministry at that time.
We all have the greatest sympathy with people suffering from handicaps which limit their mobility and make it difficult for them to lead a normal life. I hope very sincerely that the Minister will be able to reconsider some of the present categories who have this provision and meet some of the pleas put forward from time to time on behalf of those who so far have fallen outside the provision of vehicles for disabled persons.
Where I differ from the hon. Member is that his Motion challenges, and quite violently challenges, the long-standing principle, widely accepted in this country, of the priority given to war service pensioners. Secondly, and of much greater significance—this is more particularly the reason why I have put down the Amendment—although the hon. Member has endeavoured to suggest that he would bring in everyone concerned, we shall have to vote on the Motion as it stands. As the Motion stands it would create a new and exclusive priority among one section of civilians, a priority which has not hitherto existed.
The hon. Member protested that he thinks that the priority given to war service pensioners to have cars is untenable, yet the Motion would hive off one section of the civilian population and give them priority over other civilians equally disabled even at the same time and in the same accident. He complained about people being branded. He was less than just to the record of this and previous Governments in their provision for disabled persons. We have very good reason 1060 to be proud of our record over the years in providing vehicles for the disabled. To the best of my knowledge no other country in the world provides such comprehensive assistance in transport for the disabled as we do. In many countries the provision of vehicles is solely for war-disabled. No provision is made for civilian disabled. In practically every country the provision is far less generous, and certainly less comprehensive in maintenance and payments, than in this country. It is only fair to my right hon. Friend the Minister that this should be said.
In this country the old war pensioners' tricycle was replaced in 1948 by the then Labour Party Minister and a limited number of cars were supplied. The figure was then limited to 1,500 and it subsequently rose to 2,100. I think that it was my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, East (Sir D. Walker-Smith) who made the provision that all war pensioners who qualified should have a motorcar whereas otherwise they had been provided with an invalid tricycle. Of these cars, I think there are about 4,000 in circulation. As the hon. Member for Perry Barr said, for those who are not war pensioners there is a single-seater invalid tricycle.
I may be a little out-of-date in my figures. I think that the hon. Member said that he did not know how many war pensioners opted to have a tricycle rather than a car. In my days at the Ministry I think that the number was about as high as 10 per cent. Nevertheless, I think it important to recognise, as the hon. Member quite clearly admitted, that these vehicles are provided free of charge and are insured, licensed and maintained by the Government. The hon. Member very fairly mentioned the other facilities for storage and the like and the contribution for a certain quantity of petrol.
It should be borne in mind that the tricycle today is a very different creature from the open, far more frail vehicle which was in circulation in 1948. Many of the refinements found on modern motorcars have been incorporated in the specially designed vehicles for disabled drivers. I congratulate my right hon. Friend and his Department on the intense work which has been done and the consistent surveys made to meet the particular needs of particular drivers and to tailor the vehicles to their use.
1061 The hon. Member spoke about driving in London by a disabled person. I pay tribute to the very low accident rate of the drivers of invalid vehicles. I think that this stems from two reasons. The first is the driver's own care, caution and courtesy on the road. The second is that, apart from their own careful driving, there is an instinctive road courtesy and consideration shown to them by the ordinary road user. He may be hasty and ill-tempered in relation to the ordinary driver, but an instinctive courtesy is shown to those driving invalid vehicles. The "road hog" will roar past me, but he will quite happily and instinctively give way to the driver of an invalid vehicle.
I have always felt that the limited mobility and often slower reactions of disabled drivers is compensated for by the fact that they are identifiable and are, therefore, given courtesy and consideration by other drivers. This is one of the greatest protections which they have on the road. I have always opposed those who say that there should be no mark on the vehicle identifying it as belonging to a disabled person. This is one of the greatest protections they have, because instinctively other drivers give way to them and go out of their way to make their course safer.
The hon. Member for Perry Barr wants us to set aside, or to challenge, a tradition which, I think, is common to every country which has a war pensions scheme by which the war disabled have priority. I think that it has always been held that a man injured when fighting for his country, who probably has been sent to foreign climes, demands something over and above that which should be applied to the civilian. Secondly—and here I come to my chief reason for the Amendment—the Motion would mean that only those who are beneficiaries under the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, and who are employed, would benefit by the application of the Motion if it were accepted.
There could be a case of two men similarly injured in the same accident, but differently classified in relation to employment. A younger man who was employed would get a car, but a self-employed man, perhaps with family responsibilities, would not get one. They might be victims of the same disaster, but they would be treated differently, and all 1062 retired people would be excluded from this provision. However great our sympathies with the disabled, and whatever extensions are made to the service—I shall come to some extensions later which I hope my right hon. Friend will favourably consider—it cannot be right to divide the civilian population into categories which are such that the executive chairman gets a car but the local newsagent does not. That would be wrong in principle, and it would create the very situation among different sections of the community about which the hon. Member complained when he said that there should be no priority for war pensioners. The Motion seeks to provide two classifications of civilian pensioners.
I believe that there are 16,000 tricycles in service. However much we may wish to extend the provisions, as outlined in the Motion, the cost would be not inconsiderable. The hon. Member mentioned Section 75 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act. I remember this from my days in the Ministry of Health and in the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance. It was the provision put in as a stop gap in case there was a time lag between the coming into force of the National Health Service Act and of the new Industrial Injuries Act. In fact, it never had to be used and there never was that gap. We have explained this at many meetings with hon. Members and representatives of the T.U.C. and others at Ministry conferences.
§ Mr. Charles A. Howell
Would the right hon. Lady tell the House whether the T.U.C. ever agreed with her in that interpretation?
§ Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith
I did not have to wait for agreement because the interpretation had long been given by hon. Members opposite when they were in office. The provision was included and explained at that time as a provision to meet a need if the National Health Service Act were not passed in time.
§ Mr. Howell
I am sure that the right hon. Lady does not want to mislead the House, but she has not left the Ministry all that long, and I understand that the T.U.C. has been back to the Ministry every year and has disagreed with this interpretation. The T.U.C. has claimed that Section 1063 75 gives the Government the right to provide appliances. The right hon. Lady said that we must stick to the words of my Motion when we debate it. She must stick to the words of the Industrial Injuries Act. Irrespective of why it was done, the words were put in the Act.
§ Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith
The hon. Gentleman misinterpreted what I said. I have never denied that the Section in the Act could be used in the manner which he suggests. I said that it was put there merely as a stop-gap to cover what was always intended to be covered by the National Health Service when it came into operation. It was a Government of the present Opposition who provided that these vehicles should come under the National Health Service and that payment for them should come undr the National Health Service rather than under the Industrial Injuries Act.
This cannot be the limited problem which the hon. Member suggested it to be. First of all, there are 16,000 current users. It is true that not all of them would opt for a car, but many people who have not applied for a tricycle, because they themselves run a car, would, naturally and quite rightly, opt to have a free car rather than one for which they themselves pay. The number would be correspondingly increased.
There are also those who have not a tricycle because they cannot control it. They would immediately opt for a car where they could have a nominated driver, as is a right under the regulations for war service disabled. The demand might well run into double the 16,000 vehicles we have at the moment. The Minister undoubtedly gets a special contract price for these vehicles, but we should be grateful if he would give us some idea of the cost of the proposals in the Motion.
I know that the cause of the disabled person demands our greatest sympathy, but the very substantial commitment which would result from the Motion changes two long-established principles. The hon. Member describes the provision for war pensioners as an anomaly, but his Motion merely creates another anomaly. We must bear in mind that there are many disabled people with equally serious claims on the service.
§ Mr. G. R. Mitchison (Kettering)
I am not clear about the right hon. Lady's intentions. Does she intend to include those who are mentioned in the Motion as well as some others, or does she intend to exclude some of those mentioned in the Motion?
§ Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith
I am about to come to the additions which I should like my right hon. Friend to make and which I think at this point it would be fair to ask him to make. I will not keep the hon. and learned Gentleman long in suspense.
There are many disabled people with equally serious claims who are quite incapable of using a vehicle of any kind. We have to weigh up the claims of these people against the considerable cost which would arise in respect of a comparatively limited number of people who, I believe, at present are not unreasonably provided for by the service given by the Ministry. It is important that we should bear their needs in mind. If the requests made in the Motion would involve very substantial costs, then we must consider whether we are justified in allocating this amount of money solely to a section of the community already not badly provided for.
I should like to ask my right hon. Friend whether he would consider adding some classifications which so far do not come under the provisions for those entitled to a free vehicle. These have been mentioned by hon. Members on both sides of the House in debates in the past. Some of these concessions would alleviate a great deal of hardship.
I have in mind those people who are very seriously disabled, but who have not lost their limbs. Because they have not a locomotive disability so as to fall into that exact classification in the strict sense, they are not included in the scheme at present. There are people with serious heart or lung affections which make any extensive exertion very hazardous. They do not qualify for a vehicle because they are not limbless, they are not paraplegic; they do not come within the classification which justifies their being provided with a vehicle. Would my right hon. Friend look again at the categories which qualify for invalid vehicles to see whether they could be extended to those who, on medical evidence, are warned 1065 against the exercise of walking and who, at the moment, cannot obtain a vehicle under the present classification?
Similarly, there are many people who are so incapacitated that they have not the physical capacity to drive a car. Many of them are provided in their homes with a wheel chair; they are either pushed around or they wheel themselves around. But these people are in an even worse position than those who are capable of using a vehicle, because they cannot get out even into the garden unless somebody pushes them there.
Would my right hon. Friend consider whether these people should have the use of a small electrically or mechanically-propelled chair if they are not capable of handling a car or tricycle? This would at least enable them to go around their homes, out into the garden and even along the street, although they could not go further afield because they could not have a car. Could not my right hon. Friend extend the category to people often more severely handicapped than those who at present are given a vehicle, or, in the case of the war pensioner, are given a car?
§ Mr. Mitchison
I have listened to the hon. Lady with great attention and with much sympathy, but I have not yet got it clear in my mind. Does she intend to include by her Amendment all the people mentioned in the Motion, or does she intend to cut down the number in some way, even including, perhaps, some other category?
§ Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith
I do not accept the category laid down in the Motion, because it would create a one-sided priority among civilians. I am suggesting, however, that my right hon. Friend should increase the overall types of civilians or pensioners in certain categories. I do not go as far as the hon. Member for Perry Barr, but I am asking for specific concessions which I think are reasonable and which are, in fact, not covered by the hon. Gentleman's Motion. I am asking for new categories, but I do not go as far as the hon. Gentleman does in his desire to provide priority classes.
There have been very few cases where both the man and wife are injured, but there are some such cases and I have 1066 had experience of some of them. In cases where both the husband and wife are injured—I am thinking particularly of a case resulting from war injury—and where both have their own vehicle, could not my right hon. Friend stretch a point and let them have a car instead of two vehicles? Of course, they should have the option because it might be very important in some cases, particularly if they are both in employment, that they should retain their own individual transport.
I cannot believe that it would cost more to provide one vehicle instead of two. I think that these are commonsense proposals which would not involve vast additional expense, and I ask my right hon. Friend favourably to consider them.
In conclusion, I would again like to thank the hon. Member for Perry Barr for giving us the opportunity of this debate, although I strongly differ from him in his division of the priorities. I would also like to congratulate my right hon. Friend and his predecessors on the very full and comprehensive service which is given to the disabled in this category and the constant research which I know goes on to keep these vehicles up-to-date. I say frankly that I am one of those who has—and I say this quite unashamedly—no quibble about the priority given to war pensioners, and that I particularly deprecate the splitting of the civilian population into a priority and a non-priority class which would result from the passing of the hon. Gentleman's Motion.
§ 5.34 p.m.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards (Caerphilly)
I will occupy the time of the House for only a short while. This is the fourth or fifth debate of this nature since 1951 in which I have taken part. The Minister has been warned time after time that there would be no peace in the House until justice was done to the paraplegics. The right hon. Gentleman has been warned that the matter will be raised time and time again until we have met the obvious need of those who suffer in this special way.
I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) on his speech and on having covered the ground in so comprehensive a way as to leave very little else for the rest of us to say. I 1067 was astonished at the right hon. Lady the Member for Chislehurst (Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith), who moved the Amendment and who has made it quite clear that she is against two-seater cars being provided for the paraplegics.
The hon. Lady objects to them having these cars on the ground that it would create a new priority. But we already create priorities. Of course, we cannot give all these people two-seater cars on the same day. There has to be some order about it. When these cars were first introduced for the war disabled it was then understood that they were category No. 1, that category No. 2 would have to be decided on and then category No. 3. I should have thought that that was the thinnest excuse on which to move the Amendment to the Motion so ably moved by my hon. Friend.
No hon. Member who represents a mining constituency in the House can be satisfied to leave this question until those disabled men in the mining industry get as reasonable facilities and amenities as this country can give them. The right hon. Lady talked about the division that would be created, but what about the soldiers who were combed out during the war and sent back to work in the pits and who then received their injuries in the pits? They became paraplegics. Had they remained in the Army and received injury they would have been provided with two-seater cars in precisely the same circumstances, but because they were working in the pits they were not entitled to receive them.
How about the firemen in the London blitz? How about all such categories? In providing two-seater cars for the disabled pensioner we created a category, and whatever we do, in any circumstances, we have to decide the order of priorities for these facilities. I have seen the paraplegics in the mining industry in South Wales. There are over 100 of them gathered together at Porthcawl. These are men who served their country. Many of them were sent back to the pits to produce the fuel needed for carrying on the war. They were not there of their own choice. They were sent back by their commanding officers. Yet these men are denied the facilities made available to their erstwhile comrades and who received exactly the same sort of disability on actual war service.
1068 I received a letter—which is really the only reason for my intervening in the debate—which emphasises the tragedy of these people. The letter states:On behalf of all disabled war cripples may I thank you for your grand fight to get us cars instead of these beastly little motor tricycles—they shake us to pieces. I was stuck on the side of the road when a lorry backed into me. He could not see me and I could not get out of his way. I fell into a deep ditch and might have been there all night only a van had taken the wrong lane and found me. A third time I started to go to the doctor at 8 a.m. and on the way back the engine failed me and I did not get home until after 6 p.m., wet through, and only the kindness of strangers got me home then. These all happened to me in only a short time and could all have been avoided if I could have had someone with me. Many of my crippled friends could tell you of worse things that have happened to them.I would like to say this to the right hon. Lady. I know that she is not short of the milk of human kindness. We in this House know her virtues, and also, if I may say so, her shortcomings—politically anyhow.
There is a young man in my constituency who is just 25. He is single. He is courting. Every time he goes out he has to go out by himself. It is a tragedy for him that all his social life must be either in the house or when he goes out alone. We should be providing two-seater cars for people in this condition, if we call ourselves a civilised nation.
I do not know what the right hon. Gentleman will promise us tonight. He may promise something which the Labour Party will have to implement later. I ask my hon. Friend the Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Finch), who has done as much for disabled people as any Member of the House, to give an undertaking when he intervenes that, if the Tory Government do not do something for paraplegics, the Labour Party when it is swept to power will see that it is one of its earliest Measures. Unless we do that, we are hypocrites. We must not ask the Tory Government to do what we are not prepared to do ourselves when we get the power.
I leave it with the Minister in this way. Do not make this another electioneering stunt. This question is too deep a human question to be made the sport of politics. If the Minister can do something, let him do it. If he cannot, the sooner the Tories are out of office and 1069 people who are prepared to act are in power, the better it will be for injured people.
§ 5.42 p.m.
§ Mr. Norman Miscampbell (Blackpool, North)
Sympathy has been expressed which I am sure is shared by every Member of the House. No Member of Parliament who sees these people in his "surgery" and talks to them can help being deeply moved. He must also understand the desire that they should have vehicles in which they can take out their families. I know that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) has considerable experience of this matter in his trade union activities.
I believe I am not speaking out of turn when I say that the Motion is a peg on which to hang a hat. I know that the hon. Member for Perry Barr is suggesting that everyone should be given a motor car, if possible. I bear that in mind in my next few remarks. It is perhaps worth our while to think for a moment or two of the difficulties involved in legislating piecemeal. If the Motion were accepted, there would be considerable anomalies between one man and another. Many other categories than industrial workers could have been used, and more profitably, to help the paraplegic, although it might not have been easy to move a Motion on the subject.
It is clear that the married man with a family is in an infinitely worse position than the single man. The older man may be in a worse position. On these grounds there might be justification for giving priority to married men rather than to those hurt in industrial accidents. Those injured in industrial accidents are not necessarily those who end up the worst off. It is perhaps not a sympathetic argument, but it is worth remembering that most paraplegics ex-industry have probably hurt their backs either by falling or through something falling on them. I know that I am generalising, but these people can normally satisfy the courts that there has been negligence on the part of their employers. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I admit that this is not so in every case.
§ Mr. Charles A. Howell
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for allowing me to intervene for his education. A claim will not be conceded unless the plaintiff can prove that his employer was negligent.
§ Mr. Miscampbell
I am well aware of that. I add to my Parliamentary salary by trying to convince the courts of just what the hon. Gentleman has told me. I do not want to take this too far, but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will agree that in most cases—not in all cases, as I know only too well—when something has fallen on a man or when he has fallen he can get compensation. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] I will not take it too far, because I am not arguing with hon. Members opposite on that point.
My point; is that with individual categories such as industrial workers one runs into situations of incredible anomaly. I go one stage further and say that in cases where there has been an industrial accident and where the injured men have convinced the courts that there was negligence the awards now being given are substantial. These are not necessarily the people who will be worst off. If this is conceded, faced with the difficulties of legislating piecemeal, one must decide whether every paraplegic, regardless of whether his condition arose from an industrial injury—no matter how it arose—should be entitled to a motor car. This may well be the argument.
If there are 15,000 paraplegics or people entitled to a car at present, and if nominated drivers were to be allowed, we might well be facing between 30,000 and 35,000 potential vehicles. Not everyone will decide to have a vehicle. Perhaps 80 per cent. or 90 per cent. will decide to nave one for convenience. There will also be those who have in the past provided their own cars. It may well be right to make a change now and say that everyone can have one. We all sympathise with the Minister who, faced with this demand, says that there are other ways in which the money could be spent more profitably. This is an argument on which the Minister must make us his own mind.
If it is not possible to let everyone have a vehicle, what amelioration should be offered today? What can one suggest the Minister might do without going as 1071 far as that? One step which should be taken is to say that men capable or earning sufficient money to provide a car of their own—
§ Mr. Mendelson
We seem to be having the same difficulty with the hon. Gentleman as we had with the right hon. Lady the Member for Chislehurst (Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith). Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House clearly whether he opposes the Motion?
§ Mr. Miscampbell
Certainly. If there is a Division, I shall go into the Lobby in support of my right hon. Friend's Amendment.
§ Mr. Mendelson
The hon. Gentleman has not answered my question. Will he tell the House clearly whether he is opposed to those who have been injured at work being included in the new category for this benefit?
§ Mr. Miscampbell
One knows very well that that is not a fair question. [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer."] In arguing this matter in the House today it is not necessary to take up the position, which we would all agree would be intolerable, of saying that they are not entitled. What we are entitled to ask is this. Are we to decide today to give a vehicle to everybody? It may well be right for the Government to say that they do not consider that the time has yet come when they can give a vehicle to everybody.
§ The Minister of Health (Mr. Anthony Barber)
Will the hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) tell the House whether he proposes to support the Amendment?
§ Mr. Mendelson
If the Chair will allow me to make my intervention, I will do so. Before I answer any questions, the hon. Member who has the Floor must answer his questions.
§ Mr. Miscampbell
I do not want to delay the House. I had thought at one time that it might be a partial help—a step in the right direction—if those who provided their own motor cars were given, not just the money to convert them to make them suitable for their own driving capacity, but might be given the whole cost of the vehicle. I realised, on considering this further, that that would probably create more anomalies 1072 than it would cure, because it would be tantamount to saying that those injured but still able to drive a car would be given that sum of money while those injured but unable to drive a car would get nothing. That would not be a satisfactory or even a partial solution to the problem.
I appreciate that the Minister cannot immediately answer all the questions put to him, but I hope that he will consider the possibility of the construction of three-wheeled vehicles capable of carrying two people. Such a conversion of a number of three-wheelers might be possible, otherwise I accept that it may not be possible for my right hon. Friend to concede all the requests being made by hon. Members. However, I hope that he will look sympathetically at the proposal made by my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst.
§ 5.52 p.m.
§ Mr. Bernard Taylor (Mansfield)
The House is discussing a praiseworthy Motion which gives rise to great human problems. We are dealing not with numbers and statistics but with people, human beings, who, through war injury, industrial injury or congenital disability, need our help.
It should be remembered that acceptance and implementation of the Motion would bring an end to all discrimination in this sphere, although it would minimise it. When I read the terms of the Amendment moved by the right hon. Lady the Member for Chislehurst (Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith) I had some sympathy for it, but having listened to her remarks I regret to say that it is not designed to achieve what I thought was its aim. I submit that, whatever she has in mind, her Amendment would include only one or two further categories but would not solve the problem.
As I say, acceptance of the Motion would not end discrimination, but it would give greater freedom from isolation and boredom to a large number of people who at present are so immobile that they cannot go about with their relatives and friends and are deprived of the pleasure of even seeing the countryside. For these and many other reasons—which I could put forward if time permitted, but other hon. Members wish 1073 to speak—this should be regarded as an important human problem and we should give all the help at our disposal to these injured people.
I have been impressed by the information which hon. Members have received from a committee which is interested in the mobility of the disabled. My hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) submitted an unanswerable case why the Motion should have universal support and my right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Ness Edwards) raised an important matter, not for the first time, concerning the mining industry. For many years Motions have appeared on the Order Paper about the problem discussed by my right hon. Friend, but despite this and despite dozens of Questions put to Ministers we have received no satisfactory answer why this provision should not be extended to other disabled people.
Anxiety on this issue has been expressed not only in the House but throughout the country, and this matter has been the preoccupation of many organisations representing heavy industry, particularly mining, where there is a high incidence of accidents. It is interesting to note that although there are 24 million insured workers in Britain and although there are only half a million people employed in the mining industry, of all the reportable accidents which occur, one-third of them take place in mining. Is it any wonder that people like my right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly and others who represent and are interested in mining areas should feel keenly on this subject and are impatient for something tangible to be done?
It is equally interesting to note what is stated in Section 75 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946. I do not accept the case adduced by the right hon. Lady the Member for Chislehurst, but she might be interested in these words which appear in that Section:The Minister may make arrangements to secure the provision and maintenance, free of charge or at a reduced charge of equipment"—I take it that that could be interpreted to mean motor cars—and appliances for any person who, by reason 1074 of the loss of limb or otherwise, is in need of them as a result of any injury or disease against which he was insured under this Act … Any expenses incurred by the Minister under any such arrangements or otherwise under this section shall be paid out of the Industrial Injuries Fund.
§ Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith
I do not want to be misrepresented on this issue. I am not denying that that Section of the Act might possibly be applied in the manner suggested by the hon. Gentleman. I was saying that at the time of the passage of the National Health Act the fear was expressed that because of lapsed legislation there would be no machinery, until it was set up, by which the Ministry of Health would be able to provide these appliances.
It was always the intention—and this is on the record in the words of right hon. Gentlemen opposite when they were in office—that the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946, should proceed on the basis that it was designed to provide cash benefits but would not normally be responsible for providing the physical pieces of equipment which it was always intended should ultimately be provided by the Ministry itself. That is on record in the words of Ministers of both parties. As I say, I am not denying that what the hon. Gentleman says might apply if the Section were used in that way, but the Ministry has always operated the vehicles side of this.
§ Mr. Taylor
The right hon. Lady is now moving her ground. She is now saying exactly the opposite to what she said originally. As I understood her, she was trying to tell the House that Section 75 was there to fill the gap between the operation of the National Health Service Act and the Industrial Injuries Act. Now she changes her ground. It was always anticipated, and the anticipation became a reality, that those Acts and the National Insurance Act should all come into operation on one day in July, 1948. Although 16 years have elapsed, very little if anything at all has been done about Section 75. It is true that it is an optional Section, but this Minister and his predecessors have failed to take any steps to operate this permissive Section.
Last Monday, the right hon. Gentleman, in answer to a number of Questions from both sides of the House, said that 1075 he would make a statement on this subject before the Summer Recess, and I join with my right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. N. Edwards) in the hope that the Minister will make mat statement tonight. This is his last chance in this Parliament, and if he does not make the statement now his promise of last Monday will not be kept.
Replying on the same day to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdare (Mr. Probert), the Minister denied the accusation that he was procrastinating, but the fact is that 13 years is a very long time for a Government not to do anything in such a matter as this, and I make a sincere appeal to the right hon. Gentleman. Over many years, I and many of my hon. Friends have seen so much suffering, so much frustration resulting from immobility—the inability to get about, and take pleasure in things in the countryside, and the like—and we know that the final point of frustration has almost been reached. I hope that at this late stage the right hon. Gentleman will be able to tell us that something is to be done.
I shall support the Motion. I do not propose to support the Amendment. What I would really like to see is provision made for all severely disabled people, whether their disability arises from war service, industrial occupation, sickness, disease, or is congenital. I am in favour of a universal application.
§ 6.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Norman Cole (Bedfordshire, South)
I, too, thank the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) for tabling this Motion. I know something of the personal physical experience to which he refers, and it taught me a lot of the background, and of the regulations and parts of Acts that make up the whole picture. The hon. Member has obviously done a lot of research, and I am grateful to him for his information.
I have been somewhat bewildered during the course of this debate, because we all seem to want the same tiling. The hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. B. Taylor) has just said that he wants to see these facilities extended to all who have need for them. The hon. Member for Perry Barr and others have expressed the same view, with which I entirely 1076 agree. Therefore, whatever side of the Chamber we may sit on, we are all pushing as hard as we can at the same door.
Nevertheless, the hon. Member for Perry Barr must not deny those of us on this side the right to show our sympathy in our own way. There is no special perquisite of expressing sympathy in such a matter as this. The hon. Member and his hon. Friends think that the best way to move the Government is to put down a Motion specifically giving priority to industrially injured people. We, on our side, are equally keen on what he is trying to do, but want something more comprehensive. In this matter, it is the House of Commons that is speaking, not any hon. Member, where-ever he may sit, and whatever results from the vote at seven o'clock will be a Motion from the House of Commons that the Government should take some action.
We think that the broader action asked for in the Amendment is more appropriate to action by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health. The hon. Member for Perry Barr thinks that his specific mention is the better way, but, with all respect to him—and I have had the pleasure of his acquaintance over many years—I believe that he is wrong. Specific mentions are not always appropriate in the House of Commons. It is sometimes better to give members of the Government a nudge.
A further point is that we do not want too late to explain to the many others why they are not included in this specific mention. The Motion is quite specific, and leaves out quite a number of categories. Therefore, though I have the same reasons and the same motivation as the hon. Member, I prefer the Amendment. The power to do something is contained in the various Acts. All that is needed is the will of the Government, and I think that the Amendment presents the best way of saying how we think that will should be exerted.
I imagine that my right hon. Friend deals with this subject on behalf of various Government Departments because it is a medical matter, and I pay particular tribute to the members of his Department, and especially to those in the regions, with whom I have had many 1077 contacts over the last 13 or 14 years. I have always found them sympathetic and helpful, and I pay tribute to them on behalf of those of my constituents who have benefited from their work.
As I listened to the hon. Member for Perry Barr I kept in view the fine tricycles which are now issued. I inspected one a fortnight ago. The user was full of praise for it. He thought that it was a grand machine. In the debate today I asked myself why these machines were so easily and specifically identified, because none of us wants to be distinguished from others by reason of a disability. I was prepared to ask my right hon. Friend to make them more like the three-wheeled vehicles which are in commercial production, but I then heard the point made in the debate that this identification of the vehicle helped other people to give the users some special courtesy on the road because they recognised not the driver, but the vehicle.
I should like to see my right hon. Friend conduct researches into the possibility of producing a more commercial type of vehicle and offer it to these people, because every man in liberty is entitled to his own psychology. The would-be user could be asked then whether he wished to have a vehicle which would be distinguishable on the road and thereby would give him a better chance to drive, or whether he preferred a commercial-type vehicle and to take his chance with thousands of similar vehicles on the roads. I know that there are some invalids who do not like to be so recognised, but there are others who do not mind and would be only too pleased to have special courtesy extended to them.
When I was talking to my constituent he said that it was a great pity that these three-wheeled vehicles are not quite wide enough to take a passenger. He said that there was just room for a slim passenger, but he was not supposed to take another person with him. There may be good reasons for this. I do not know the background, but if my right hon. Friend could do something to enable people who so wished to take a passenger with them it would be a reasonable thing to do and it would give great happiness to some users of these vehicles. If the present regulation is based on common sense, so be it, but if it is based 1078 on an archaic tradition let us take it apart and see whether it serves any useful purpose.
There has been talk in the debate about priorities and this is the whole point. We on this side are endeavouring to apply the only priority and that is the physical one. We cannot supply everybody immediately and at the same moment. This is the only priority which the Amendment would apply. The Motion would apply a priority restricted to a non-comprehensive class of society.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith) said that when she was in office one-tenth of the people who were entitled to have motor cars did not have them because they did not feel able to drive them. I hope that we shall keep that door open. It is quite understandable that in these days people might not wish to drive a car. Even some abled-bodied people have no desire to do so. I hope that those who prefer to have a three-wheeled vehicle as distinct from a four-wheeled car will be allowed to have their choice.
If my right hon. Friend feels that he can extend the opportunity of obtaining one of these vehicles to everyone who is disabled, from whatever cause, whether he is an employee or self-employed, ex-war or ex-industry, he will have my full support. In passing, I would make one point of criticism. I have had cause recently to make a reference to it in the House. It is that it is peculiar that at this time there should still be categories of people who, for some technical reason, are not entitled to full benefit from the Government although they are disabled. We should take a more absolute line about this. What matters to a disabled man and what should matter to us is simply that he is disabled, from whatever cause. To extend benefits to all may not be good business and probably is not good government, but it certainly is the right kind of attitude to take. I shall vote for the Amendment because I consider that the greater includes the less and where the less, speaking in terms of numbers, provides an invidious distinction it is important for us in giving instruction to the Government to make that instruction as comprehensive as possible and not make it apply specifically to one section of society.
§ 6.16 p.m.
§ Mr. Albert Roberts (Normanton)
I have to declare at the outset that I have a vested interest in this subject. My brother who suffers from some form of sclerosis is using a tricycle and he has found it the most convenient form of vehicle, but we must bear in mind that whilst it may be convenient for the individual it certainly does not fulfil all requirements in the matter of family life. I must come out forthwith in support of my right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Ness Edwards) in his reference to the paraplegics, who are an army of mostly young men who have made great sacrifices.
My right hon. Friend mentioned their loneliness, but he failed to mention that their ability to procreate is completely gone and that it is essential in order to maintain the family life that when one of these young men goes out in the country or goes on holiday he should be provided with a vehicle that will enable man and wife to travel together. I was instrumental at one time in obtaining a vehicle for a young man. This opened a new world to him. He was able to mix in society and eventually to make a good living for himself. If there must be a priority in the provision of these vehicles I shall support the paraplegics, but we must also bear in mind those who are suffering from some form of sclerosis, from arthritis and from similar diseases.
It is argued that it is no more expensive to provide a vehicle which will carry two persons than it is to provide a vehicle for one person. If that is so and no question of economics arises, I cannot understand why the Minister is not more forthright. He represents a constituency in which there are a few paraplegics. I am aware of the arguments on both sides about the motorised tricycle and the motor car which will carry two persons, and if the difference in cost between the two is as was stated by my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) I cannot understand what we are arguing about.
If we can spend or waste millions on such things as Blue Streak, why cannot we enable a section of the community to live the full life to which it is entitled? We have our priorities, but my heart goes out to all those people who are unable to get out and live a full married life. 1080 I hope the Minister will consider these representations and that he will take some action. It is a pity that we have to divide on an issue like this. It is a scandal to the House that we should have to divide. However, we must be grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Perry Barr for bringing forward this issue because we have been enabled to ventilate our views.
I trust that the Minister will be forthright and will be willing to meet the wishes expressed not just on one side of the House but on both sides, because this is a great human problem which must be resolved.
§ 6.22 p.m.
§ Mr. Harold Finch (Bedwellty)
I heartily welcome this opportunity of congratulating and thanking my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) on the able and sincere manner in which he stressed the need to provide motor cars for the disabled.
This is, of course, a human problem and, as one who has had considerable experience in the mining industry, I know of many tragic cases of persons who have sustained injuries resulting in partial paralysis. In the mining industry there are about 400 of these men who travel about in one-seater tricycles. They have to travel alone. They cannot take their wives or other members of their families.
This applies not only to the mining industry. There are many other industries, including the engineering and railway industries, in which men have become disabled. Many men have become paraplegic as the result of accidents arising in the course of their employment. They are unable to get about accompanied by their wives or children, unless they have a car. Many of these are comparatively young family men, and, unless the Government give them some hope, they are condemned to travel alone, in circumstances which, in my opinion, cannot be justified.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Ness Edwards) has referred to some cases. I can quote a number of other cases, particularly from the mining industry. One has written saying:I hope, dear sirs, that you will be able to end this tragic loneliness.1081 Another says:I have had to travel alone and if anything goes wrong I have to depend on strangers.I could quote many other cases. There is something wrong and tragic about the situation in this age of scientific and social progress.
We have had excuses. The hon. Mem-Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Miscampbell) made excuses. He introduced the question of damages at common law. He said that some men are able to claim damages and get money. In how many cases does that occur? I tell the hon. Member for Blackpool, North that the bulk of the men that T refer to in the mining industry have sustained their accidents by a fall of roof, where negligence could not be proved. These men ran the danger of coal-getting underground and now they are half paralysed. Their hope has gone. All their ambitions, the life to which they looked forward and the education of their children have gone because of a fall of roof.
What can be said of the mining industry can be said of others. Paraplegia does not happen just to the man. It happens to his family as well. The whole of the family life is affected. The wife's whole outlook is changed. The income falls and the whole future has gone. We cannot pay too high a tribute to the wives, mothers and others who in so many cases display patience, tolerance and devotion to their menfolk. I know from experience what happens. A man has an accident. He is shocked and appalled by his condition. He is told that he will never be able to get about again unless he has a car or tricycle. He is distressed. He looks at his grim future. He is not only depressed. Often he can be very annoyed. It is only after a time, when he comes out of hospital and sees his wife and parents, that he starts to become accustomed to his condition. He makes the best of it. That is the time when a car would be so handy and beneficial. That is the very time when it could create happiness and comfort so necessary to an injured man.
I hope the Minister will be able to give a favourable decision and will not continue to deprive these paraplegic ex-miners and others of a motor car so that they and their wives can go out 1082 together. Quite apart from the question of happiness, the provision of a car would dispel a lot of worry and anxiety on the part of the wives. Sometimes a man goes out in a tricycle; it breaks down and he is a long time getting home. The wife worries about him. There are frequent breakdowns of this sort. I know of several in my own constituency. Bus drivers have had to pull up because of a stationary tricycle. The man in the tricycle cannot get out, and the traffic is held up.
I therefore hope that we shall get a more favourable reply in this debate. We have raised the matter time and again over many years. I think we raised it as far back as 1951 or 1952. Indeed, we have done more than that. The miners have said, "To assist our own people we will make a contribution for ex-miners if you, the Government, will help to maintain them. So keen are we that we will contribute to the extent of 50 per cent." I believe I am right in saying that that offer was made as far back as 1952, but there has been no response.
The Minister said in his reply on Monday of last week that he hoped very soon to review the whole position. But this issue has been debated in the House since 1952, before the present Minister was in office. We have been debating it all these years and now we are told that we shall very soon have a review of the position.
§ Mr. Barber
Either there was a mistake in HANSARD, which I think is unlikely because I read it, or the hon. Gentleman is mistaken. What I said was that we had almost completed the review that we were making.
§ Mr. Finch
They have almost completed the review. All I can say is that, on a matter of this kind, it is still too long to have taken until today to complete a review of this most important human problem.
On the question of cost, the Minister knows that tricycles are not as reliable as cars and they require more attention. Tricycles are not so well sprung. Their maintenance is very much a specialised business and there are long delays in getting repairs carried out. Initially, a small car might cost another £80 more than a 1083 tricycle, but what is the true position as regards comparative cost? A car lasts much longer than a tricycle. A small car might well be cheaper in the long run. I am fairly certain that it would be found that the cost of maintaining cars would be smaller than the cost of maintaining tricycles.
What is the issue? Small cars have proved satisfactory to paraplegic ex-Service men, and there has been little or no complaint about them. The cars have worked well for disabled ex-Service men. Why should there be this discrimination? We welcomed the decision to supply motor cars to ex-Service men, who deserve all the facilities we can give, but why the discrimination towards the injured miner or the man injured in industry?
The right hon. Lady the Member for Chislehurst (Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith) is, I suggest, confused on this issue. Her Amendment does not really express what I hope she intended, and she and her hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Cole) do not quite agree with one another. The hon. Gentleman said that he wished to include all paralysed people in this provision, but the right hon Lady did not say so and her Amendment does not say so If it did, we should agree with her We are quite prepared to agree that what we suggest should apply to all paraplegics, but the Amendment refers only tothe categories of persons who are entitled to invalid vehicles.What does that mean? In this debate we are referring to the provision of motor cars for paraplegic people who can use them We want this provision so that disabled people, if they so desire and are able to use them, may have cars to help them in their lives, but the Amendment does not suggest that, and we have not been assured by the right hon Lady that she means to include provision for the industrially disabled.
The hon. Member for Bedfordshire, South said that he wanted all paraplegics to be included, but the right hon. Lady did not say that. If we could have her assurance that that is what she really means, we should have no objection and would urge the Minister to accept it.
1084 Already, by Section 75 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946, there is power for the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance to provide these cars. It could have been done long ago. That Section has never been used. What is the obstacle—money? I have already said that this is a matter of the happiness of the injured man and his family, and it would not cost as much as some hon. Members would lead us to believe. It is something which could well be done now. It has always seemed to me that Section 75 could be used. The Minister of Health, from his point of view, could say that his Ministry would operate it for a man who has a road accident, who has suffered from polio or from some other disability from natural causes. On the industrial injuries side, it could be used similarly to produce the desired result. Why the delay and the difficulty?
There is £288 million or more in the Industrial Injuries Fund now, and what we suggest would put no heavy burden on the Fund. We shall be interested to hear from the Minister exactly what the cost to the Fund would be to do as we suggest. May we have some idea of the cost for those who would come under the Minister of Health himself? There are the two categories. I am surprised that the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance has not used his powers under the Act long ago and that the Minister of Health, for his part, has not put a similar scheme into operation.
That is our case. We say that, after all these years, the time has come to provide these people with motor cars. If hon. Members opposite say that we should include all paraplegics, we quite agree. If the Minister agrees, let the whole House agree and let us get on with the job. We want the Minister's assurance this evening that something will be done forthwith. We are not concerned about political advantage. This is too great a human problem for political tactics. These men urgently need motor cars, and we beg the Minister to give us a favourable decision. But I agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly that, if he does not, we on this side will do all in our power to see to it that paraplegics, the industrially injured and others, are provided as soon as possible 1085 with motor cars to give them the happiness and contentment which they deserve after sustaining accidents arising out of and in the course of their employment.
§ 6.36 p.m.
§ The Minister of Health (Mr. Anthony Barber)
Of all the various matters which may be raised on a private Member's Motion, and which concern my responsibilities, I agree with the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Finch) there is none which evokes more sympathy or concern than the provision of vehicles for those who are disabled. Perhaps I may add, as a result of what I have learned only in the past day or two, that there are few people more entitled to speak on this subject than the hon. Gentleman, with all his experience.
In a sense, this is just one more facet of the problem which will always be with us, the problem of priorities and deciding where best we can direct the resources which are available and which, we must all recognise, will never be sufficient to do all we want to do. As our resources expand and enable us to do more, so our aims and ideals become more ambitious. It is one of the facts of life in a civilised society that compassion for those in need will always outstrip what can be done.
As the House knows, and as the hon. Gentleman will, I hope, agree after my intervention a few minutes ago, I have for some time been reviewing the provision of invalid vehicles for the disabled. This review has taken a considerable time, longer than I had hoped. It is a much more complex subject than many people realise. It is relatively easy to say in general terms what one would like to do, but it is not at all easy to decide what one ought to do, bearing in mind the needs of hosts of other people who are physically or mentally ill and who require and deserve more help of one kind or another.
I congratulate the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Charles A. Howell) on his speech. In a few minutes, I shall have some proposals to put before the House, but, first, let me explain why I cannot advise the House to accept the Motion. The object of the Motion is to provide motor cars 1086 instead of the existing invalid tricycles for those men and women in industry who, in the words of the Motion,have suffered serious disability arising out of and in the course of their employment.".As the hon. Member for Bedwellty said, Section 75 of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1946 gives the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance power to secure the provision of equipment and appliances for any person who needs them in consequence of an injury or disease against which he was insured under the Act. The hon. Member for Bedwellty said, "The Act is there. Why not use it?". I recognise that there were questions of priority in those days, but it is fair to point out that the Act was there in 1948, 1949, 1950 and 1951. I agree with the view taken by the Labour Government at that time not to invoke it, but, nevertheless, it is a point to make that the Act was passed in 1946.
Time and again in the past, Ministers have pointed out that this Section of the Act was designed merely as a safeguard against the possibility, which did not materialise, that there might be a gap in time between the beginning of the Industrial Injuries Act and the National Health Service Act. It has never been invoked and it has been accepted policy both by the Labour Government and by successive Conservative Governments that the Industrial Injuries Scheme should be limited to the provision of cash benefits. I am sure that is right.
Let us consider for a moment the merits of the proposal. Of course, I can see the great attraction of providing four-seater motor cars for all National Health Service patients who are seriously disabled. [HON. MEMBERS: "Two-seaters."] Two-seaters or four-seaters. With great respect to hon. Members, the Motion refers to vehicles supplied to disabled ex-Service men and these are four-seaters. If we were to supply cars to these other categories, they would be four-seater vehicles. As far as I know, there is not on the market a two-seater suitable for all disabled people. We are, therefore, talking about four-seater cars in this context.
The cost would be far more than most people perhaps realise. I will say more about that in a moment. But I must be quite frank and say that I really do 1087 not see why those who have suffered a disability arising out of and in the course of their employment should be singled out for preference. Surely many other categories of persons are equally deserving. What of the paraplegics? If the paraplegia was not the result of an industrial accident, then, under the terms of the Motion, they would be excluded. Why should they be? Again, what of the man who was disabled as a result of an accident on the way to work?
Then, if one were to single out some National Health Service patients for the provision of a motor car, surely one would give some thought to those disabled men and women with families.
§ Mr. Barber
If the hon. Gentleman will give me an opportunity I have some proposals to announce in a moment. They will take some little time.
§ Mr. Howell
I think that the right hon. Gentleman is misinterpreting me, though not, of course, deliberately. My reason for putting the proposal in this way is that there is money available under the Industrial Injuries Act—about £128 million—which could be used. If he wants to do better than that, then I would be most grateful.
§ Mr. Barber
It was open to the hon. Gentleman to put down a Motion asking us to supply motor cars for all those entitled to invalid tricycles. He did not do so, but limited it to this category. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] This is very important. If his suggestions were accepted the single man injured at work would be entitled to a motor car, but the family man who was disabled in any other way would still only qualify for a single-seater tricycle.
§ Mr. Barber
I shall come to the Amendment in a moment. I am dealing first with the Motion.
As I was pointing out, I cannot believe that a proposal which would have such 1088 anomalies would be either right or would commend itself to the House. Consider, also, the case of those housewives who are at present supplied with tricycles and who have young children whom they cannot leave alone at home when they go shopping. Simply because they were not disabled as a result of an industrial accident, they would not qualify for a car under this proposal. I could think of many more such examples. I mention these few to convince the House that it would not be right to single out for special preference those injured in industry.
War pensioners have been mentioned. Quite rightly, I believe, our people and sucessive Governments have taken the view that some preference should be given to war pensioners who suffered their disablement while serving the country during war time. Neither the Motion nor the Amendment calls for the provision of motor cars for all seriously disabled National Health Service patients who qualify for personal transport.
The hon. Member for Perry Barr said that if I were prepared to do that he would go along with me; and I see his point of view. But if we were to provide for all National Health Service patients four-seater cars on the same basis as they are now provided for those disabled during the war, not only would we have to replace the majority of the 16,000 tricycles at present in use in Britain, but the total demand would probably increase by a further 30,000 drivers, because we would have to take account of those so seriously injured that they required a nominated driver, as is the case with the war disabled.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith) asked about the cost of providing motor cars for all National Health Service patients. The Government obviously looked into this in our review and we found that, over the lifetime of the cars, the additional cost would probably be in excess of £37 million. Whatever may be our ultimate goal, I am quite sure that there are other claims on our finances and resources which, at this time, should have priority. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Very well, I will mention some. There are not only the claims of people other than the disabled, but also the needs of those men and women who are seriously 1089 disabled but who, at present, do not qualify for an invalid vehicle of any kind.
The hon. Member for Perry Barr, in his very agreeable speech, said that he could not understand why my right hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst wished to extend the categories. He said that everybody is included somewhere. But this is not the case and never has been the case since the beginning of the National Health Service, and I am sure that my right hon. Friend, who spent more than five years as Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Health, is right in saying that we should now extend the categories of persons now entitled to invalid vehicles.
I have been in close touch throughout the review with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance. We have reached the conclusion that the first priority is to extend the area of entitlement to an invalid vehicle. But, first of all, there are two small classes of disabled persons whose position commands special sympathy and for whom, because of their special position, I propose to make available motor cars instead of tricycles.
The first of these comprises those people outside the Armed Forces and the Civil Defence Service who were severely disabled in enemy air raids and were compensated under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme. These men and women are regarded as war pensioners by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance, but have not been regarded as eligible for cars since 1950. They were eligible before 1950. Those who are eligible for an invalid tricycle under our present rules will in future be provided with a car if they prefer one. There are 100 of them.
Secondly, there are the difficulties of those married couples who are both dependent upon tricycles. This matter has been brought to my notice by a number of hon. Members on both sides and I have decided that, in future, these couples will be given the option of surrendering their tricycles and being provided with a car. There are about 80 such couples. It will normally apply where both husband and wife are eligible for personal transport, but I would not exclude from consideration 1090 any cases where two members of one family—for instance, parent and son or daughter—living in the same house are both eligible for tricycles.
In all cases we shall have to satisfy ourselves that the provision of one vehicle instead of two would be to the benefit of both patients, because, of course, two tricycles provide more independent mobility than one car. I shall also look sympathetically at any case where one partner in a marriage is eligible for a tricycle and the other, although not so eligible, is blind.
I have already said that in my view additional resources might be better used to extend benefits to a greater number of the disabled rather than to provide a better vehicle for those who already have tricycles. I have in mind particularly those men and women who are not disabled in the ordinary sense of having some disablement directly affecting the legs, but who are virtually unable to walk because of a disability having an indirect effect on their legs. Many people who suffer from a disease of the heart or of the lungs are affected in this way and hitherto they have not been regarded as eligible for a vehicle, save in exceptional circumstances. I have decided to extend the present arrangements for the supply of tricycles, or cars in the case of war pensioners, to those patients whose very limited walking ability is attributable to what are called non-locomotor disabilities and who need a machine to get to and from their full-time employment.
I estimate than an additional 1,000 disabled persons, including about 100 war pensioners, will benefit from this concession. I hope that it will be possible in the future to make similar provision, by stages, to some patients in this category who are not in whole-time employment.
There are certain further classes of persons whom I want to help. I have always felt a special sympathy for those whose legs are not sufficiently affected by disability to bring them within one of our categories of eligibility, but who suffer the additional handicap of having lost both their arms, or having an equally grave disability of this kind. These persons will in future be considered for a vehicle.
1091 I also intend to relax some of the rules we have observed about the sort of employment regarded as entitling a disabled person to vehicles and those about the availability of public transport facilities. Many hon. Members will know what sort of cases I have in mind. These concessions will benefit a considerable number of people—probably an additional 3,000—but I must emphasise that some of them will inevitably have to wait a little time for a machine because, for obvious reasons, we cannot do all this at once.
Those who use the vehicles which are provided are, by the nature of things, very badly disabled, and it is right that we should do whatever we can to give them any extra comfort that is possible. From the end of this month I shall provide heaters in all new motor cars and arrangements will be made as soon as possible to fit heaters in cars already in use. We shall be getting in touch directly with the war pensioners about this.
I intend, also, to provide heaters in motor tricycles, but I cannot give a definite date for this until certain technical problems have been overcome. A heater has been developed which promises to be suitable for these vehicles and it is now being tested. As soon as I am satisfied that it is both efficient and safe—and I hope that this will be within a few months—I shall arrange for it to be fitted to both new vehicles and those already in use.
§ Mr. Barber
I have looked into this and find that it would be very difficult to convert existing machines so that they would take a passenger.
I have one final measure to announce and this affects the most seriously disabled of all—those patients who are not only unable to walk because of a disability affecting their legs, but who, because of weakness in their arms or hands, are also unable to propel themselves in a wheelchair. I am making 1092 arrangements for electrically-propelled indoor chairs to be provided for such of these unfortunate people who can be helped by this means to achieve some measure of independence—perhaps 2,000 people.
The additional cost of all these proposals is estimated, in the first year of operation, to be about £1¼ million. There are at present about 20,000 invalid vehicles. These new proposals will add probably another 6,000. The House will, I am sure, welcome these additional benefits for disabled persons. Arrangements are being made to deal with the applications which will be coming in and preliminary supply arrangements are already in hand. Those who consider that they will be entitled to benefit should, if they are war pensioners, get in touch with their artificial limb and appliance centre and, if they are National Health Service patients, they should arrange through their own doctor for an appointment with a hospital consultant.
There are in Great Britain at present about 4,000 cars and 16,000 tricycles on issue, and of the tricycles 2,500 are electrically-propelled machines. One hon. Member thought that these latter machines were supplied merely because patients preferred them, but in fact they are supplied to those patients who are so severely disabled that they are unable to control the ordinary motor tricycle.
So far as I know, no country in the world has an equivalent service for providing transport for the disabled. Such schemes as I know of—and during the course of this review we have, naturally, made inquiries about the type of provision made abroad—are confined to particular classes, generally the war disabled. In the United States eligibility is wider, but grants for the purchase of vehicles are restricted to war veterans and are given once only, with no provision for maintenance or replacement and barely covering the cost of the cheapest available car.
I am sure that the House will agree that while all of us would like to go further, these proposals represent an important step forward. I do not doubt that every hon. Member will instinctively feel, as I do, that it would be good if we could go further, but what I propose to 1093 do represents the most important extension of the categories of the disabled eligible for vehicles which has been made since the National Health Service came into being. Indeed, the categories of eligibility have remained virtually unchanged since the inception of the scheme.
I hope that in the light of what I have said the hon. Member for Perry Barr will not press his Motion. For the reasons I have given, to do as he proposes would be neither fair nor would it provide help where it is most needed. The right approach is that adopted by my right hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst, with all her experience in the Ministry of Health.
§ My advice to the House, including the Opposition, is, therefore, to reject the Motion and to accept the Amendment and, in so doing, to welcome the proposals which I have announced on behalf of the Government.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Martin Redmayne) rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.
§ Question, That the Question be now put, put and agreed to.
§ Question put accordingly, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question: —
§ The House divided: Ayes 192, Noes 230.1097
|Division No. 134.]||AYES||[7.0 p.m.|
|Abse, Leo||Fletcher, Eric||McCann, J.|
|Ainsley, William||Foley, Maurice||MacColl, James|
|Albu, Austen||Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mclnnes, James|
|Alldritt, W. H.||Forman, J. C.||McKay, John (Wallsend)|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Mackenzie, Gregor|
|Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)||Galpern, Sir Myer||MacPherson, Malcolm|
|Awbery, Stan (Bristol, Central)||George, Lady Megan Lloyd (Crmrthn)||Mahon, Simon|
|Bacon, Miss Alice||Ginsburg, David||Mallalleu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)|
|Beaney, Alan||Gourlay, Harry||Manuel, Archie|
|Bellenger, Ht. Hon. F. J.||Grey, Charles||Mayhew, Christopher|
|Bence, Cyril||Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mellish, R. J|
|Benn, Anthony Wedgwood||Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Mendelson, J. J.|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Griffiths, W. (Exchange)||Millan, Bruce|
|Benson, Sir George||Gunter, Ray||Milne, Edward|
|Blackburn, F.||Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Mitchison, G. R.|
|Blyton, William||Hannan, William||Monslow, Walter|
|Boardman, H.||Harper, Joseph||Moody, A. S.|
|Bottomley. Rt. Hon. A. G.||Hart, Mrs. Judith||Moyle, Arthur|
|Bowden, lit. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)||Hayman, F. H.||Mulley, Frederick|
|Bowles, Frank||Healey, Denis||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)|
|Boyden, James||Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (RwlyRegis)||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Herbison, Miss Margaret||Oliver G. H.|
|Bradley, Tom||Hill, J. (Midlothian)||O'Malley, B. K.|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Hilton, A. V.||Oswald, Thomas|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Holman, Percy||Owen, Will|
|Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.||Hooson, H. E.||Padley, W. E.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Houghton, Douglas||Paget, R. T.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Hoy, James H.||Parker, John|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)||Parkin, B. T.|
|Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Chapman, Donald||Hunter, A. E.||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Peart, Frederick|
|Collick, Percy||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Pentland, Norman|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Irving, Sydney (Dartford)||Probert, Arthur|
|Dalyell, Tam||Janner, Sir Barnett||Randall, Harry|
|Darling, George||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Rankin, John|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jeger, George||Redhead, E. C.|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Reid, William|
|Davies, S. 0. (Merthyr)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Deer, George||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rhodes, H.|
|Delargy, Hugh||Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Dempsey, James||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Diamond, John||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Dodds, Norman||Kelley, Richard||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Doig, Peter||King, Dr. Horace||Rodgers, W. T. (Stockton)|
|Driberg, Tom||Lawson, George||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)|
|Duffy, A. E. P. (Colne Valley)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Ross, William|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Short, Edward|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Loughlin, Charles||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Evans, Albert||Lubbock, Eric||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Finch, Harold||McBride, N.||Small, William|
|Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)||Taverne, D.||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Snow, Julian||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)||Williams, D. J. (Neath)|
|Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank||Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Spriggs, Leslie||Thornton, Ernest||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Steele, Thomas||Wade, Donald||Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.|
|Stonehouse, John||Wainwright, Edwin||Woof, Robert|
|Stones, William||Warbey, William||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Stross, SirBarnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)||Watkins, Tudor||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Swain, Thomas||Weitzman, David|
|Swingler, Stephen||White, Mrs. Eirene||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Symonds, J. B.||Whitlock, William||Mr. Charles A. Howell and|
|Allan, Robert (Paddington, S.)||Gibson-Watt, David||Maddan, Martin|
|Allason, James||Giles, Rear-Admiral Morgan||Maginnis, John E.|
|Arbuthnot, Sir John||Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham)||Maitland, Sir John|
|Ashton, Sir Hubert||Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Markham, Major Sir Frank|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Goodhart, Philip||Marlowe, Anthony|
|Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham)||Gower, Raymond||Marshall, Sir Douglas|
|Balniel, Lord||Green, Alan||Marten, Neil|
|Barber, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Gresham Cooke, R.||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)|
|Barlow, Sir John||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||Matthews, Cordon (Meriden)|
|Barter, John||Grosvenor, Lord Robert||Maude, Angus (Stratford-on-Avon)|
|Batsford, Brian||Gurden, Harold||Mawby, Ray|
|Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N. W.)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.|
|Biffen, John||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Mills, Stratton|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Harrison, Brian (Maldon)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Bingham, R. M.||Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Harvie Anderson, Miss||More, Jasper (Ludlow)|
|Bishop, Sir Patrick||Hastings, Stephen||Morgan, William.|
|Black, Sir Cyril||Hay, John||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Henderson, Sir John (Cathcart)||Morrison, John (Salisbury)|
|Box, Donald||Hendry, Forbes||Neave, Airey|
|Brewis, John||Hiley, Joseph||Nicholls, Sir Harmar|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe)||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Hirst, Geoffrey||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian (Hendon, North)|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Hocking, Philip N.||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Burden, F. A.||Hogg, Rt. Hon. Quintin||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Holland, Philip||Page, John (Harrow, West)|
|Campbell, Gordon||Hollingworth, John||Pannen, Normall (Kirkdale)|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||Hopkins, Alan||Partridge, E.|
|Carr, Rt. Hon. Robert (Mitcham)||Hornby, R. P.||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P.||Peel, John|
|Chataway, Christopher||Howard, John (Southampton, Test)||Percival, Ian|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Hughes-Young, Michael||Peyton, John|
|Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmth, W.)||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Hurd, Sir Anthony||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Cole, Norman||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Pitman, Sir James|
|Cooke, Robert||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pitt, Dame Edith|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Jackson, John||Pounder, Rafton|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||James, David||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch|
|Cordle, John||Jennings, J. C.||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Corfield, F. V.||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otto|
|Coulson, Michael||Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Crawley, Aidan||Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Crowder, F. P.||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Rees, Hugh (Swansea, W.)|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Rees-Davies, W. R. (Isle of Thanet)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Renton, Rt. Hon. David|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Kershaw, Anthony||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Deedes, Rt. Hon. W. F.||Kirk, Peter||Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Kitson, Timothy||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Lambton, Viscount||Sharples, Richard|
|Doughty, Charles||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Shaw, M.|
|Drayson, G. B.||Leather, Sir Edwin||Skeet, T. H. H.|
|du Cann, Edward||Leavey, J. A.||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Duncan, Sir James||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Stainton, Keith|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Lilley, F. J. P.||Stanley, Hon. Richard|
|Farey-Jones, F. W.||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Farr, John||Litchfield, Capt. John||Steward, Harold (Stockport, 8.)|
|Fell, Anthony||Lloyd, R t. R n. Geoffrey (Sut'n C'dfield)||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm|
|Finlay, Graeme||Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)||Storey, Sir Samuel|
|Fisher, Nigel||Longbotham, Charles||Studholme, Sir Henry|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Loveys, Walter H.||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Foster, Sir John||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Tapsell, Peter|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (Stafford & Stone)||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||MacArthur, Ian||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss side)|
|Freeth, Denzll||McLaren, Martin||Teeling, Sir William|
|Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.||Maclean, SirFitzroy (Bute & N. Ayrs)||Temple, John M.|
|Gammans, Lady||Macleod, Rt. Hn. lain (Enfield, W.)||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Gardner, Edward||McMaster, Stanley R.||Thompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)|
|Thornton- Kemsley, Sir Colin||Wall, Patrick||Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard|
|Tiley, Arthur (Bradford, W.)||Wells, John (Maidstone)||Woodhouse, Hon. Christopher|
|Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon||Williams, Sir Rolf Dudley (Exeter)||Worsley, Marcus|
|Turner, Colin||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, 8.)|
|Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.||Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Vickers, Miss Joan||Wise, A. R.||Mr. Pym and Mr. R. W. Elliott.|
|Walker, Peter||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
§ Mr. Redmayne claimed, That the Question, That the proposed words be there added, be now put.
§ Question, That the proposed words be there added, put accordingly and agreed to.
§ Mr. Redmayne claimed, That the main Question, as amended, be now put.
§ Main Question, as amended, put accordingly and agreed to.
That this House calls upon Her Majesty's Government to extend the categories of persons who are entitled to invalid vehicles.