§ Mr. Wareing
To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received calling for the setting up of a department of veterans' affairs to cover the needs of ex-service men; what consideration he is giving to dealing with such requests positively; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
[holding answer 2 December]: I have received a number of letters from right hon. and hon. Members and members of the public on this matter, but I do not believe that the establishment of a separate department for ex-service affairs would result in a better service for ex-service men and women. The facilities of the health service and social security system are available to all and provision for veterans is integrated with that for the population as a whole; a new department would simply add another tier of administration.
We recognise, however, that some ex-service personnel may encounter difficulties on returning to civilian life. We are therefore committed to the provision of comprehensive resettlement advice and support. We also recognise the particular needs of disabled ex-service personnel; we have not only preserved the preferential provisions of the war pensions scheme, but have also done much to enhance it.