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National Health Service Money

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 27 March 1952

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Considered in Committee under Standing Order No. 84 (Money Committees).—( Queen's Recommendation signified.)

[Colonel Sir CHARLES MACANDREW in the Chair]

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That, for the purposes of any Act of the present Session to make further provision with respect to the making and recovery of charges in respect of services provided under the National Health Service Act, 1946, and the National Health Service (Scotland) Act, 1947, and for purposes connected therewith, it is expedient to authorise—
  • (a) the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any increase attributable to the said Act of the present Session in the sums payable under any enactment out of moneys so provided;
  • (b) the payment into the Exchequer of any sums received by the Minister of Health or the Secretary of State under the said Act of the present Session.—[Mr. Crookshank.]
  • 1.37 a.m.

    Since the Bill was published, a number of very important changes have been announced by the Government, which shows that the Bill was hastily considered and that the Government have had to retreat under pressure from their own followers. This has affected the incidence of the Financial Resolution quite considerably, because the amount of money to be saved by the Bill is even less predictable than it was formerly.

    However, an additional event has occurred which has even more substantially modified the situation. As hon. Members will recall, the Minister announced today that as a consequence of an arbitration award, the Government have found themselves compelled to retreat from a principle that was adopted by three Chancellors of the Exchequer: that the ceiling of £400 million is no longer operable, because an arbitration has occurred outside the House of Commons.

    I was disappointed, as, I am sure, the House was, that the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, who wound up the debate on Second Reading for the Government, found it difficult to interrupt his prose in order to provide the House with one of the most significant pieces of evidence to enable us to form a judgment as to the significance of the Financial Resolution and the moneys that are to be saved.

    Since then I have armed myself with the terms of reference that the arbitrator received from the late Administration. I think that the House ought to know these terms of reference before we, apparently frivolously, decide to throw away £40 million, and before we decide to accept an award which may have most dangerous repercussions upon wage negotiations now taking place all over the country.

    I understand now why the Government did not read out the full terms of reference, because the late Administration did, in fact, safeguard themselves in constitutional form. Therefore, we are still in charge of the situation. I will read out the terms of reference:
    "To determine the size of a Central Pool, after taking account of the remuneration from all other sources received by general practitioners, in order to give effect to the recommendations of the Spens Committee, having regard to the change in the value of money since 1939, to the increases which have taken place in incomes in other professions, and to all other relevant factors. The Ministers and the Committee …"
    that is, the General Medical Services Committee of the British Medical Association—
    "… have agreed to treat the award of the Adjudicator as binding, subject to the overriding authority of Parliament and to a satisfactory distribution scheme being agreed by the parties."
    As I understand—and, indeed, I should have lamented it if it had not been the case—the late Administration could not possibly have bound Parliament in any manner without Parliament having the right to consider the matter. Parliament is not bound; neither would the late Administration have been bound.

    I think that the right hon. Gentleman is going beyond the Money Resolution. Perhaps I may be allowed to say what I think, though I may be wrong. All that we are authorising is the payment of moneys in connection with the National Assistance Act, 1946. The doctors are not paid under this Money Resolution.

    But the Minister, in making his speech today, said that the ceiling would be exceeded. But he could not tell the amount by which it would be exceeded because he could not tell what would be received by the Exchequer from the charges imposed by this Bill. There- fore, we have two competitors now for moneys received from Parliament. The patients themselves will be charged and the general practitioners will be trying to exceed the ceiling as much as possible under this provision.

    I know how narrow Money Resolutions are drawn. I am not suggesting that this is the best opportunity for discussing this exceedingly important matter, but I say that Parliament ought to have an opportunity to discuss it.

    This matter was referred to at considerable length. It is specifically a money matter.

    Yes. It may have been referred to on the Second Reading, but it is not covered by the Money Resolution. It is a very narrow one, if the right hon. Gentleman will examine it.

    May I suggest to you, Sir Charles, that the amount of money which has to be found by way of National Assistance is directly linked to the cost of the service? As I understood my right hon. Friend, he was trying to discover what is the cost of the service. Until we discover that, we cannot discover the sum we are voting because we do not know the proportion which will fall on National Assistance.

    Only a limited amount can come from National Assistance. I am not in a position to tell the right hon. Gentleman. I am only here to carry out the Rules of Order, and it is clear that this Money Resolution covers payments that will arise out of the increased money coming out of the National Assistance Act, 1948, and that is all with which we are here concerned.

    1.45 a.m.

    I am not pressing the question on you, Sir Charles. You could not possibly be expected to know how much it is. The whole difficulty is that neither does the Administration. Surely it is in order, on a Money Resolution, to try to probe what it is that might be saved and what might be spent? If that is not appropriate on a Money Resolution, what is?

    That is true, and the right hon. Gentleman can refer to what the increased charges will be, but not give the whole picture. I think my Ruling was quite correct. I am sorry, but I did not draw the Money Resolution, which is very narrow.

    It was always the general practice in the past to draw Money Resolutions so narrowly or widely that there was always the question of discussing them to provide hon. Members with an opportunity of having a proper discussion in the financial Clauses. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Oh, yes, and I remember taking part in many discussions about this, and there was a time when Parliament itself found itself frustrated from effective discussion because draftsmen had become so clever in drawing Money Resolutions that we in the House of Commons could not discuss money.

    Therefore, today, what I am seeking to find out from the Administration is this. Will the Minister of Health inform us whether he considers that the Administration has been bound by the statement he has made, and will he give us an opportunity, if not today, at some early date, of discussing this most significant decision before an outside body can appropriate large sums of money from helpless Parliaments?

    If I might answer the right hon. Gentleman, I am sorry he thought that this was a narrow Resolution. I think that, for the purposes with which it is concerned, that is, this Bill, it really could hardly be wider, because it has been the settled policy of this Government, as I think I can properly say it was of its predecessors and of all Governments in recent times, to draw Money Resolutions as wide, rather than as narrow, as possible. I think it very likely that, if the right hon. Gentleman looks back, he will find that he and I fought a battle in the interests of the House as a whole. Money Resolutions are always confined to the Bill to which they are attached.

    The point which the right hon. Gentleman raised about adjudication, of course, has nothing at all in the world to do with this Bill. In a Second Reading debate, we have a general discussion, and I went out of my way—and the right hon. Gentleman nodded with approval—to ex- plain the relevance of the adjudication on what is called the ceiling, but this Bill has nothing to do with that, or the ceiling or anything of that kind. What it has to do with is making further provision for making a recovery of charges and—

    If the right hon. and gallant Gentleman will allow me, it was advanced as one of the justifications for the Bill that it was necessary to have the charges so as to keep within the ceiling.

    Yes, but the ceiling does not appear in the Bill or the Money Resolution. It is in the framework within which the Bill was introduced, and, therefore, any discussion of the ceiling and the £400 million is quite outside the scope of this Money Resolution. It should, in my view, on a proper occasion, be discussed, but this Resolution, for the purpose with which it is concerned, could hardly be wider.

    It authorises, under paragraph (a), the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any increase that may be necessary as a result of this Bill in payments which are made under previous Acts dealing with National Assistance. All that it means in common terms is that, if there are any demands made on the National Assistance Board as a result of this Bill, or any possible hardships, and all the rest of it, those moneys can, as a result of this Money Resolution and the consequential Clause in the Bill, be paid out. It leaves quite at large how much this would be. That is the paying out.

    On the other hand, the payment into the Exchequer of any sums received by the Minister under this Bill merely refers to the result of the charges which will be collected by the hospitals—the prescription charges to hospital outpatients and charges for hospital appliances—because those would be incoming cash transactions, and it is therefore necessary to have authority to receive them and pay them into the Exchequer. There again, that leaves quite at large what the charges would be or what they are.

    If there is a charge and it is necessary to have recourse to the National Assisance Board, by this Money Resolution the Board can pay out whatever is authorised. Whereas, if charges are made, then it is legal and proper for the money received from those charges—again leaving quite at large what the charges should be and how much they are—to be paid into the Exchequer. Dealing with this side of the problem, which is all this Bill deals with, and not with the wider issues which the right hon. Gentleman mentioned, I do not think one could have put it in any wider form. With that explanation, I hope the Committee will see that we have done our best to carry out what has been the recent practice of the House to enable these things to be discussed.

    If the right hon. Gentleman reads the Bill, he will find that it makes provision for deductions of amounts of money to be paid by regional hospital boards and executive councils as a consequence of the operation of the provisions of the Bill, but the amount to be paid to executive councils will, naturally, be substantially increased in virtue of the increased capitation arising from the award. Therefore, we are directly involved in those payments.

    It is not merely providing payments from money granted by Parliament or the National Assistance Board. It also makes provision for reductions of payments to hospital management committees and executive councils in respect of charges which will have to be collected by those in contract with executive councils and regional hospital boards, and the general practitioners are in contract with the executive councils.

    I do not think that that comes under the Money Resolution. [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] It is no use saying, "Yes." Let me explain the point. This Money Resolution does two things. Under paragraph (a) it makes good the increased money that will have to come out of the National Assistance Board. Under paragraph (b) it only authorises the Minister or the Secretary of State to pay the Exchequer the money they received. It does not authorise them to receive it; that will have to be done under regulation.

    The Resolution is very narrow. It is wide to this extent, as the right hon. Gentleman said, that if the Bill is amended in Committee—there is ample opportunity for that, but at the present time under Clause 6 it concerns only the National Assistance Act—other Acts may be added; but they are not there now, and that is the only increase in charges that we can talk about on this Resolution.

    With great respect, Sir Charles, if you had permitted me to conclude my point, I was about to say that under Clause 6 (6) of the Bill

    "Regulations made under the principal Act or this Act providing for the making and recovery of charges in respect of any services"—
    note, any services—
    "may provide for the reduction of the sums which would otherwise be payable by a Regional Hospital Board, Hospital Management Committee, Board of Management, Board of Governors, or Executive Council to persons by whom those services are provided by the amount of the charges authorised by the regulations in respect of those services."
    The Minister today—

    The right hon. Gentleman is quoting from the Bill, which has been given a Second Reading by the House. If he will refer to the Money Resolution and look at the last two lines of paragraph (b), with regard to the point he has been reading about, he will see that all the Money Resolution authorises is that the Minister of Health or the Secretary of State shall pay that money into the Exchequer. That is all we can deal with as regards Clause 6.

    Regulations may be made, and, in fact, the Minister himself intimated his difficulty today in respect of doctors in rural areas where the 1s. prescription is one of great difficulty.

    I quite agree that Regulations can be made, but the Money Resolution does not deal with them at all.

    But the amount of money to be collected or saved by the Regulation is affected by the Money Resolution. I have spoken to hon. Members in all parts of the Committee since I made my statement today and there is general anxiety about the propriety of the procedure, by which this very large sum of money is being appropriated from us. Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance—

    That is just where the right hon. Gentleman and I are at cross-purposes. All we can talk about on the Money Resolution is what is done with the money when it is received.

    Will you, Sir Charles, permit me to finish my question? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] All right, then. We will go on for a long time. All I want to ask—

    Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that no physical steps will be taken by the Government to implement the adjudication until the House has considered the matter?

    I do not know whether I have to answer these questions or not. I understood from you, Sir Charles, that references of that kind were out of order. I obey the Rules of Order and I understood that that was the position. If it is in order, I will say what I have to say, otherwise it is not possible for me to do it.

    I have been trying my best for the last half-an-hour to explain to the Committee what is in order and what is not. It is perfectly simple. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) was going beyond the Money Resolution, and I told him so several times.

    Perhaps, Sir Charles, I can put the question another way to enable the right hon. Gentleman to give the answer we all know he is anxious to give to the Committee. I think the whole Committee was grateful to you for reading the Resolution because, obviously, the words on it had not impressed themselves on the mind of the Minister of Health, when he came to reply. Had he glanced at the Motion in the name of his hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, he would have seen there are two points.

    One is paragraph (a) and the other is paragraph (b). Paragraph (a) deals with the sums which are to be expended. Therefore, there will be no gain in regard to these sums and the country will be the poorer by the paying out of them. The amount in paragraph (b) consists of the sums which the right hon. Gentleman would pay to the Exchequer. If he looks at Clause 6 (6) of the Bill, he will see he can make Regulations in order that the internal payments in the Service are not paid into the Exchequer at all.

    That is true, but that is what I was pointing out. It has nothing to do with the Money Resolution, although it is in the Bill. The hon. and learned Member was in order in the first part of his speech, but beyond that we cannot go.

    I was trying to eliminate from the minds of the Committee any of these sort of points which would be outside our ambit to consider. The point which I wanted to put to the right hon. Gentleman was this: What is the sum which is to be paid into the Exchequer? This sum can be arrived at in a simple mathematical way, and is the sum which, if added to the ceiling of £400 million, ought to be equivalent to the total cost of the service, because otherwise, of course, there is no point in our enacting this Measure at all, or in our passing this Money Resolution.

    The payments into the Exchequer must be sufficient to offset any additional cost of the service and to bring the total cost of the service down to £400. [HON. MEMBERS: "£400 million."] Down to £4. [HON. MEMBERS: "£400 million."] I am so sorry. Of course, I should have said £400 million, but I was anticipating the sum which hon. Gentlemen opposite would devote to the Health Service next year.

    2.0 a.m.

    Order. The hon. and learned Gentleman knows perfectly well that he cannot discuss that, and that he is out of order.

    I should not have anticipated so, Sir Charles. However, I hope that I have put the matter in such a way that the right hon. Gentleman will be in order in replying, and be able to reply.

    This sum must be equivalent to the difference between the cost of the Health Service and £400 million less the sum which is to be expended under paragraph (a). Therefore, the Committee ought to be given two simple sums. What sum of money does the right hon. Gentleman anticipate receiving under paragraph (a), and what sum of money does he anticipate paying into the Exchequer under paragraph (b)? That is the purpose of the Resolution, so he at least ought to be able to tell us that.

    I hope that the Committee will allow me to ask one or two questions on the perfectly narrow point of the Money Resolution, and allow me to make a suggestion. We have heard today that since the Bill has been printed the amount of money which is likely to be received has been lessened with reference to the amount of money we are to have by way of receipts through the charging for dental treatment.

    The sum by means of which it is lessened is £1 million, we have been told. That means that instead of £7,500,000—I presume the Minister agrees—he can receive only £6,500,000. On surgical instruments, he said he hoped to receive £250,000, whereas the original estimate, we gathered, had been put at £500,000. Am I right, from my simple arithmetic, in saying that already there is £1,250,000 less with reference to the outgoings? Does the Minister agree?

    It is very difficult, in all the circumstances of the situation in which the country finds itself at present, to say how much will have to be handed over to the Assistance Board, and how much it, in turn, will have to pay out. For example, can we say how many people still in work may, as a result of the cost of living, have to go to the Assistance Board for help for some of the important aspects of this service? In other words, the original figure of £20 million—which was £7,500,000 from dental treatment, £12 million from the 1s. 0d. on each prescription, and £500,000 on surgical appliances—is beginning now to become attenuated.

    These calculations of the sums may prove to be true, but in the Money Resolution no such sum is mentioned.

    I think I have made the first part of my argument fairly clear, namely, that the amount of money hoped to be saved on the decision of the Minister is appreciably lessened, and we have a suspicion that it will be very much less still when it has to be, on the one hand, collected and, on the other hand, paid out.

    Now comes my request on the Money Resolution. The Minister is empowered to do with the balance of this money—his gains, as it were—what he likes. I ask him to listen to this plea, which, I think, would make him fairly popular if he acceded to it. There is a paramount need for research inside this great service, and money has not yet been provided inside this service. Will he, therefore, consider reserving these gains on this Money Resolution purely for research to be expanded on any aspect of the service we are now considering?

    On a point of order. I think we are in this difficulty: that we ought to be entitled to know whether the sums under paragraph (a) will be greater or less than the sums under paragraph (b) because, if there is more money spent under (a) than is received by the Exchequer under (b), the whole purpose of the Bill will be at an end. My hon. Friend ought to be able to give us some figures, otherwise we do not know whether we are doing our duty in passing the Money Resolution or not.

    I agreed with the Minister of Health when he said just now that this Money Resolution is widely drawn. In fact, that is the very danger which we on this side of the Committee want to guard against. Therefore, before we pass this Money Resolution we should ask the Minister of Health to give a more definite assurance. I should have thought that this Money Resolution would have been much more satisfactory if it had contained in it a specific sum of money. As it is drawn, when the Bill goes into Committee it will be open to the Government to bring in Amendments which would increase the charges considerably and which would decrease the amount of money they want to pay out. Therefore, before we part with this Money Resolution, I want a more definite assurance from the Minister than we have had so far.

    Now I want to turn to the question of the doctors, and I want to submit to you, Sir Charles, that this Money Resolution makes further provision
    "with respect to the making and recovery of charges in respect of services provided under the National Health Service Act, 1946 …"
    One of the things that the 1946 Act laid down was for a general practitioner service. And paragraph (a) of this Resolution refers to:
    "the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any increase attributable to the said Act of the present Session …."
    I suggest that since the general practitioner service is specifically covered by the 1946 Act, and since this Money Resolution dealing with the Bill which has just been before the House is in implementation and supplementation of the 1946 Act, we are perfectly in order in questioning how far that general practitioner service is to be affected by the proposal to pay the sum of £40 million to the doctors.

    No, I do not see it that way at all. If the hon. Gentleman will refer to the Money Resolution, he will see that it says:

    "for the purposes of any Act of the present Session…"
    It is referring to this Bill when it becomes an Act. So that does not arise.

    With great respect, Sir Charles, the Money Resolution makes further provision in regard to the 1946 Act, and the amount of the further provision that the House of Commons will be called upon to make will be determined in no small measure by the decision taken in regard to the payments to be made to the doctors. Therefore, I suggest that before we leave this Money Resolution it is most important—

    With great respect I suggest to you for your consideration, Sir Charles, that this Money Resolution deals with changes to be made in the 1946 Act and that as a result—

    The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. The Money Resolution deals only with the increased charges that come under the National Health Act, 1948, Section 6 (3). It does not refer to those other Acts which the hon. Member has mentioned.

    I suggest that the Committee can only take note of the words contained in this Money Resolution, and that this Money Resolution states perfectly clearly that it is intended to make further provision in regard to the 1946 Act

    "and for purposes connected therewith …"
    I should have thought—

    If the hon. Member would read the words before that, he will see that it says

    "… for the purposes of any Act of the present Session …"

    Perhaps I am not making myself very clear. Therefore, at the risk of detaining the Committee a little longer, I should try to make myself clear, because I am perfectly satisfied that it is essential that on this Money Resolution we should consider the doctors' fees in connection with the parent service and—

    I have already said that that subject is out of order. We cannot discuss that on the Money Resolution, and I am not going to have it. If hon. Members persist in discussing it, I shall ask them to resume their seats.

    If I make it perfectly clear that it is within the terms of the Resolution, you, Sir Charles, have said that you will not permit me to continue on the subject, so there is no point in continuing further in an effort to make myself clear.

    I will leave that and will express the hope that since this Resolution is so widely drawn, so vague and so potentially dangerous, the Minister of Health will give us a further explanation of how he expects paragraph (a) to balance out with paragraph (b), because that is what we on this side of the Committee are most anxious to hear. Finally, I should like to draw attention to a further paragraph, which ought to be in the Money Resolution.

    Before the hon. Member proceeds with that, I know that that is out of order.

    That is out of order, so I should like to express my regret that the Under-Secretary of Scotland, in winding up for the Government on the Bill, said that one of the main purposes of the Bill was to restrict consumption in this country to encourage exports—

    I wanted to say, Sir Charles, that there is no Minister from Scotland here at the moment, and I think that is most unsatisfactory. I suggest that if the Minister who wound up was serious in his contention, that point should have been covered in the Money Resolution.

    2.15 a.m.

    I have been trying to follow this Money Resolution to the best of my ability and with such faculties as still remain to me after the lengthy Sittings of the House in the last day or two. I wish to understand what it is all about and to give the Minister of Health time in which to formulate such reply as he wishes to make.

    It is common ground, I think, that we are discussing a Money Resolution. If that proposition is accepted—and all your Rulings, Sir Charles, have been directed to establishing it to the satisfaction of certain hon. Members who perhaps did not appreciate the full significance of what it is that we are discussing—then that brings me to the next point.

    The Money Resolution purports to authorise two things. It would not be in order for me to discuss the wording of the Resolution, which says, "That it is expedient to authorise," for I take it that if I addressed a lengthy argument to the expediency or otherwise of the authority which this Money Resolution seeks to obtain, I might find myself out of order, because the expediency or the inexpediency of the authority which the Government are seeking to obtain might perhaps widen the debate to an area far wider than you, Sir Charles, would permit.

    We come back to the fundamental question of the authorisation which the Minister of Health is asking us to give him. As has been made fairly clear by one or two of my hon. Friends in the course of a large number of observations which were not quite in order, two kinds of authority are being requested by the Minister of Health. One is an authority to pay something in and the other is an authority to pay something out.

    I am sorry; my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) reminds me that I am putting them in the wrong order. I hasten to correct myself. So that there there should be no dubiety, let me put the point in its correct order. The two payments we are asked to authorise are, (a), a payment out and (b), a payment in. In each case, the Exchequer or public funds are obviously affected. [An HON. MEMBER: "Quite clear."] I can assure my hon. Friend that we shall see daylight very soon.

    Subjected as I am, I regret to say, to more interruptions from my own side of the Committee than from the other, I will try to introduce perhaps a little more luminosity into the discussion. Here we are, hon. Members of the House of Commons, entrusted with the task of acting as custodian of public funds, and in connection with our duties in that capacity we have to satisfy ourselves, in the discharge of our duties, that we are not either increasing or depleting public funds to any undue extent.

    The first thought that occurs to me when I am asked to agree to payments out and payments in is what is the effect of it all to be? Shall we gain or lose on the deal? If the payments out exceed the payments in, then of course, to that extent public funds will be depleted. If, on the other hand, the payments in exceed the payments out, then the Exchequer will gain.

    The object of the legislation to which we are being asked to agree is to save public funds. Therefore, unless I, and perhaps other hon. Members, can be satisfied that payments in will exceed payments out, we shall feel that the whole object of the proposed legislation will be either obstructed or frustrated.

    I have tried to put the point as simply as possible. I hope that the Minister will give us this information and will not shelter behind the formula which he is often so prompt to use, that the matter has not been discussed through the usual channels and therefore he cannot respond to pleas made to him by back-benchers. If a back-bencher finds himself in the usual channels, he often finds himself in a difficult situation.

    Despite the difficulties that have been made for me, to some extent, I regret, by my hon. Friends who have impeded me in the discharge of my duties, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will have had time to become seized of the point I have tried to make and will remove, in specific arithmetical terms, the doubts which many of us feel about this Money Resolution, which is fundamental to the Bill. Unless we know what it involves, the House will not know to what it has given a Second Reading and will be unable to appreciate the value or the disservice it may have rendered to the public by its decision.

    I make an earnest appeal to the right hon. Gentleman who, I am glad to see, has on more than one occasion nodded agreement with some of the things I have said. I hope that in the receptive mood in which he finds himself he will give us the information to which we are entitled to enable us to discharge our duties effectively as hon. Members.

    It was because I realised that the hon. and gallant Gentleman was entitled to information and needed it, that I made my observations before. I thought I had made myself quite clear but as long as I am not ruled out of order for repetition, I will be glad to say again what is involved.

    As I already said, this Resolution is a very wide one and I am rather surprised and shocked that a Money Resolution should be thought to be too wide. The width of such Resolutions is something for which Private Members have fought for years and have now obtained.

    It would be bad if it got about in Government circles that the Committee did not want them to be wide. We could go back to the old rules to our great inconvenience. Let us keep them wide. Although the Resolution is termed wide in that sense it deals with a very narrow point, but very widely, in that it does not put any limit or restriction on the amount of money which may be involved.

    The trouble very often in the past was that a Money Resolution was drawn up and authorised merely certain sums, and therefore, when it came to the Committee stage, there was the question of the way in which the particular Clauses could be financially arranged. There is no limit of money here one way or the other. This is a very narrow point, because it deals only with the two points (a) and (b). I will get them in the right order to satisfy the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton), and not do it wrong and then have to do it all over again.

    Paragraph (a) relates to
    "the payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any increase …"
    which is necessary for payments by the Assistance Board under existing Acts. It is quite impossible, of course, to make any estimate of what that might or might not involve. It depends on the number of people who might claim to have hardship. It depends on the view which the Assistance Board might take with regard to them or whatever contribution they wanted to make in cases where they were not going to pay in full. That figure, therefore, is obviously one which cannot be determined at the moment, but there is nothing to prevent its being all that is necessary for the purpose of relieving hardship. That is (a).

    Paragraph (b), on the other hand, is merely the small point of actually paying into the Exchequer the cash sums which may be received as the result of charges which are not specified in the Resolution and which, therefore, come to be discussed later. I cannot say now what charges will be agreeable to the House in due course, but whatever the charges are which result in actual cash payments, those the Resolution authorises to be paid into the Exchequer. They are, I repeat, the charges which are proposed to be recovered by the hospital authorities.

    Assuming that the suggestions I made this afternoon are those which finally emerge in legislative and regulation form, those would be the prescription charges for hospital out-patients and charges for hospital appliances, because those are the only ones in which cash will be involved. The other charges will, naturally, be arranged as a set-off in the payments and, therefore, there will not be any question of any direct money coming into the Exchequer. This is only the question of the cash which arises from the outpatients section of the Bill.

    I hope that I have cleared up any doubts in the hon. and gallant Member's mind—the matter is not as complicated as he found it—and that, therefore, now

    Division No. 54.]

    AYES

    [2.29 a.m.

    Aitken, W. T.Finlay, GraemeLlewellyn, D. T.
    Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Fisher, NigelLloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
    Alport, C. J. M.Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.Lockwood, Lt.-Col J. C.
    Amery, Julian (Proton, N.)Fletcher, Walter (Bury)Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S. W.)
    Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Fletcher-Cooke, C.Low, A. R. W.
    Anstruther-Gray, Maj. W. J.Fort, R.Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
    Arbuthnet, JohnFrasor, Hon. Hugh (Stone)Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
    Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Fraser, Sir Ian (Moracambe & Lonsdale)McAdden, S. J.
    Assheton, Rt. Hon. R. (Blackburn, W.)Gage, C. H.McCallum, Major D.
    Astor, Hon. W. W. (Bucks, Wycombe)Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)McCorquodale, Rt. Hon M. S.
    Baldwin, A. E.Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Macdonald, Sir Peter (I of Wight)
    Barber, A. P. L.George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. LloydMackeson, Brig. H. R.
    Baxter, A. B.Godber, J. B.McKibbin, A. J.
    Beamish, Maj. TuftonGough, C. F. H.McKie, J. H. (Galloway)
    Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Gower, H. R.Maclay, Hon. John
    Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Graham, Sir FergusMacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)
    Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Grimond, J.MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
    Bennett, William (Woodside)Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
    Bevins, J. R. (Toxteth)Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
    Birch, NigelHare, Hon. J. H.Maitland, Cmdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
    Bishop, F. P.Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.)Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)
    Black, C. W.Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Manningham-Buller, Sir R. E.
    Boothby, R. J. G.Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)Markham, Maj. S. F.
    Bossom, A. C.Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Marlowe, A. A. H.
    Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Hay, JohnMarples, A. E.
    Boyle, Sir EdwardHead, Rt. Hon. A. H.Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
    Braine, B. R.Heald, Sir LionelMarshall, Sidney (Sutton)
    Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)Heath, EdwardMaude, Angus
    Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Henderson, John (Cathcart)Maudling, R.
    Brooman-White, R. C.Hicks-Beach, Major W. W.Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr S. L. C.
    Browne, Jack (Govan)Higgs, J. M. C.Medlicott, Brig. F.
    Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Mellor, Sir John
    Bullard, D. G.Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)Molson, A. H. E.
    Bullock, Capt. M.Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMott-Radclyffe, C. E.
    Bullus, Wing Cmdr. E. E.Hirst, GeoffreyNabarro, G. D. N.
    Burden, F. F. A.Holland-Martin, C. J.Nicholls, Harmar
    Butcher, H. W.Hollis, M. C.Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
    Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
    Carson, Hon. E.Holt, A. F.Nugent, G. R. H.
    Cary, Sir RobertHope, Lord JohnOdey, G. W.
    Channon, H.Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
    Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Horobin, I. M.Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
    Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. FlorenceOrr-Ewing, Ian L. (Weston-super-Mare)
    Cole, NormanHoward, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)Partridge, E.
    Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Howard, Greville (St. Ives)Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
    Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertHudson, Sir Austin (Lewisham, N.)Perkins, W. R. D.
    Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
    Cranborne, ViscountHulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J.Peyton, J. W. W.
    Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Hurd, A. R.Pickthorn, K. W. M.
    Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
    Crouch, R. F.Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)Pitman, I. J.
    Crowder, John E. (Finchley)Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)Powell, J. Enoch
    Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
    Deedes, W. F.Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)Profumo, J. D.
    Digby, S. WingfieldJohnson, Eric (Blackley)Rayner, Brig. R.
    Dodds-Parker, A. D.Kaberry, D.Redmayne, M.
    Donner, P. W.Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)Remnant, Hon. P.
    Doughty, C. J. A.Lambert, Hon. G.Renton, D. L. M.
    Douglas-Hamilton. Lord MalcolmLambton, ViscountRobertson, Sir David
    Drayson, G. B.Lancaster, Col. C. G.Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S)
    Drewe, C.Langford-Holt, J. A.Robson-Brown, W.
    Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
    Duthie, W. S.Leather, E. H. C.Roper, Sir Harold
    Eccles, Rt. Han. D. M.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
    Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)Russell, R. S.
    Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
    Erroll, F. J.Lindsay, MartinSandys, Rt. Hon. D.
    Fell, A.Linstead, H. N.Savory, Prof. Sir Douglas

    we may have the Money Resolution and proceed to other business.

    rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

    Question put, "That the Question be now put."

    The Committee divided: Ayes, 248; Noes, 139.

    Scott, R. DonaldTaylor, William (Bradford, N.)Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
    Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.Teeling, W.Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
    Shepherd, WilliamThomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)Watkinson, H. A.
    Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterThomas, P. J. M. (Conway)Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
    Smithers, Peter (Winchester)Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)Wellwood, W.
    Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)Thompson, Lt.-Cdr R. (Croydon, W.)White, Baker (Canterbury)
    Snadden, W. MCN.Thornton-Kemsley, Col C. N.Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
    Speir, R. M.Tilney, JohnWilliams, Gerald (Tenbridge)
    Stanley, Capt. Hon RichardTouche, G. C.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
    Stevens, G. P.Turner, H. F. L.Wills, G.
    Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)Vane, W. M. F.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
    Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.Wood, Hon. R.
    Storey, S.Vosper, D. F.
    Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
    Summers, G. S.Wakefield, Sir Wavell (Marylebone)Mr. Studholme and
    Sutcliffe, H.Walker-Smith, D. C.Mr. Oakshott.

    NOES

    Adams, RichardGlanville, JamesOldfield, W. H.
    Albu, A. H.Grenfell, Rt. Hon D. R.Oliver, G. H.
    Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Griffiths, William (Exchange)Oswald, T.
    Awbery, S. S.Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Paling, Rt. Hon W. (Dearne Valley>
    Ayles, W. H.Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Pannell, Charles
    Bacon, Miss AliceHamilton, W. W.Paten, J.
    Baird, J.Hastings, S.Peart, T. F.
    Balfour, A.Hayman, F. H.Pursey, Cmdr. H.
    Bence, C. R.Herbison, Miss M.Rankin, John
    Benn, WedgwoodHawitson, Capt. M.Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
    Bevan, Rt. Hon. A (Ebbw Vale)Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Reid, William (Camlachie)
    Bing, G. H. C.Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Royle, C.
    Blackburn, F.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
    Blenkinsop, A.Hynd, H. (Accrington)Shurmer, P. L. E.
    Blyton, W. R.Jones, David (Hartlepool)Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
    Bowles, F. G.Jones, Jack (Rotherham)Slater, J.
    Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Snow, J. W.
    Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Keenan, W.Stross, Dr. Barnett
    Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
    Callaghan, L. J.King, Dr. H. M.Swingler, S. T.
    Carmichael, J.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Sylvester, G. O.
    Champion, A. J.Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
    Clunie, J.Lewis, ArthurTaylor, John (West Lothian)
    Cocks, F. S.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
    Coldrick, W.Logan, D. G.Thomas, David (Aberdare)
    Collick, P. H.Lengden, Fred (Small Heath)Thomas, George (Cardiff)
    Cook, T. F.MacColl, J. E.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
    Cullen, Mrs. A.McInnes, J.Tomney, F.
    Daines, P.McKay, John (Wallsend)Wallace, H. W.
    Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Weitzman, D.
    Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.Wells, Percy (Faversham)
    Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
    de Freitas, GeoffreyMallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
    Deer, G.Mann, Mrs. JeanWhiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
    Delargy, H. J.Manuel, A. C.Wigg, G. E. C.
    Dodds, N. N.Marquand, Rt. Hon H. A.Wilkins, W. A.
    Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Mayhew, C. P.Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
    Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)Mellish, R. J.Williams, David (Neath)
    Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)Messer, F.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
    Evans, Edward (Lowestoft)Mikarde, IanWilliams, W. R. (Droylsden)
    Fernyhough, E.Mitchison, G. R.Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
    Field, W. J.Monslow, W.Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
    Finch, H. J.Morgan, Dr H. B. W.Yates, V. F.
    Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
    Foot, M. M.Mort, D. L.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
    Forman, J. C.Mulley, F. W.Mr. Kenneth Robinson and
    Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Murray, J. D.Mr. Hannan.
    Gibson, C. W.Neal, Harold (Bolsover)

    Question put accordingly, and agreed to.

    Resolution to be reported upon Monday next.