asked the Minister of Health what arrangements have been made centrally with those in control of the St. John Ambulance Brigade and the British Red Cross Society for the taking over or use of their ambulances by local health authorities under the National Health Service Acts.
The statutory duty rests on local health authorities, who may make arrangements for the use of voluntary bodies' vehicles and staff. No arrangements are, therefore, being made centrally.
Have any instructions been sent from the central authorities to the local branches?
Yes, the local authorities are being made aware of their statutory rights in this matter, but there have been no central directions.
I was referring to the St. John Ambulance Brigade and the British Red Cross Society, and I want to know whether instructions have been given. by those organisations to their local branches.
I do not know; and, of course, I have no responsibility for them, for they are voluntary organisations.