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Volume 464: debated on Thursday 28 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that some opticians are advising applicants for spectacles under the National Health Service that it will be months before they can receive them, whereas if they pay for them they can be supplied with glasses in a few weeks; and whether this practice conforms to his regulations.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for East Harrow (Mr. Skinnard) on 17th February. I shall be glad to have inquiries made into any specific cases which are brought to my notice.

Can my right hon. Friend say whether he has evidence that this is becoming a widespread practice, and is he satisfied that there is adequate local machinery for getting this put straight?

I do not think it is becoming a more extended practice than it was before; I believe that it is getting less. There are, I believe, some opticians who are doing this, and I think it is highly undesirable that it should be done.