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Aliens (Leaflet)

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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9.

asked the Minister of Health by what authority he issued N.H.S. leaflet, No. 2.

By the authority of the National Health Service Act, 1946, and in performance of the duty imposed upon me by that Act.

May I ask the Minister whether he really has authority from this House to issue this leaflet to all aliens who arrive in this country and to offer them free health services, including dentures and spectacles; and is he aware that many aliens are taking advantage of these facilities at the expense of the British taxpayer—

Wait a moment—and is he aware that French doctors, to quote one case of which I have knowledge, are losers by this practice?

The answer to the hon. Member is what I have already given him in my reply: I am discharging the duties imposed upon me by the Act of Parliament. The aliens who receive these leaflets are not those who are on short holiday visits but those who acquire registration cards. The leaflets are being held for distribution amongst seamen who may not have seen the original leaflets describing the facilities under the Act. They are obtainable from information bureaux. The new leaflet is more up-to-date than was the original leaflet and I do not want to waste public money by reproducing unnecessary leaflets.

Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.