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Clause 1—(Charges For Certain Drugs, Medicines And Appliances)

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 9 April 1952

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7.14 p.m.

Before calling the first Amendment, I think I ought to say that I understand it has been agreed to take the first three Amendments, all to page 1, line 9, together, as they all deal with the same subject, although in regard to slightly different circumstances. If necessary, and if it is desired, there can be three Divisions after the debate.

On a point of order. I wish to speak to the two Amendments standing in my name, but, as I see it, there is a great difference between the first two and the third, because, whereas the third is quite radical in its approach towards the problem fiscally, the first and second are really seeking for information and dealing with certain classes of people. With respect, Sir Austin, I wonder whether we might discuss the first two together and take the third one subsequently?

I am very grateful to you, Sir.

I beg to move, in page 1, line 9, at the end, to insert:
(2) No medical practitioner shall be required to make or recover any charge under this section.
I find myself, at the beginning, asking for your guidance and toleration, Sir Austin, with reference to the scope of the first two Amendments. You will remember that when the Minister was considering the subject-matter of this Amendment in his Second Reading speech, he made a statement on the matter. He said:
"As a matter of fact, we are in some difficulty over this whole matter, upon a procedural matter. I know that hon. Members will be wanting to discuss many implications of the proposed charge on doctors' prescriptions, which is to make up most of the charge with which we are dealing. The Bill does not deal with that at all, but I hope that sufficient latitude may be given by the Chair for that ground to be covered."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 27th March, 1952; Vol. 498, c. 847.]
I am, therefore, asking for your indulgence and ruling that it may be possible to make a reference, not only to the hospital and specialist services and the clinics, but to a similar situation which occurs in the countryside. If that be agreed, and that is what we have understood throughout all our deliberations, which have included this type of latitude, I shall try to be as brief as I can and stray not for a moment outside the terms of reference.

On a point of order. Surely, the fact that, on Second Reading, it was possible to refer to Regulations to be made under the Socialist Government's Act, 1949, does not enable this Committee, upon specific Amendments and specific Clauses, to range over that matter?

The Amendments deal with medical practitioners and chemists who are recovering the charge, and hon. Members must not go beyond that or something that is relevant to it, but I think I must wait until the hon. Member has proceeded a little further.

Further to that point of order. With respect, Sir Austin, it relates to this matter only in respect of the subject-matter of Clause 1, which is the hospital service, and not at all to general practitioners.

The words "medical practitioners" having been accepted, I hope that we shall not be out of order, particularly as I have said that the whole intention and spirit of all our discussions has been not to gag hon. Members, but to allow them time and some degree of latitude, because of the very fact that some powers arise from the 1949 Act.

That being now clear, may I say that in regard to the charges in the narrow field of the hospital and specialist services, with which I should like to deal first, we are concerned in this respect with the charges to be made to out-patients in the out-patients departments of hospitals? I feel that there is some difficulty, and we would like to indicate to the Parliamentary Secretary the sort of question which we want her to answer, either now or later on.

We assume that the charges will be paid at the hospital dispensary if such a dispensary exists, and that if drugs and medicines or surgical apparatus are supplied they will be paid for on the spot to whoever is supplying them. If drugs or medicines are not supplied by the hospital dispensary it will mean that an outside chemist or person will supply them. In that case, we assume, as was discussed earlier, that neither drugs nor medicine are made up in the hospital outpatients' department, but that the patient will take the prescription and have it made up outside.

I do not think there would be any technical difficulty or confusion regarding this aspect of the Service. I can see how it will be quite easy to say that there is a charge of 1s. and that certain exempted classes can get the 1s. refunded. Assuming that I am right and that there will be no technical difficulty in collecting the money, we come now to the difficulty with which we are faced regarding clinics. Earlier on we had a speech by the hon. and gallant Member for Ripon (Colonel Stoddart-Scott), who is very experienced in the field of medicine on which he touched. He is a venereologist of great standing and repute. He pointed out the difficulties that might well arise if these charges were imposed at the clinics.

At these clinics personal attention is given and secrecy is maintained as far as possible. There the consultant personally treats the patient and as few contacts as possible are made between the patient and any other person. I am very sorry that the hon. and gallant Member for Ripon is not present, because he said that he would be here to support me on this Amendment. We should like to know whether a charge is to be made at these clinics, or whether they come within the exempted class. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will make a note that this particular class of clinics should be exempted.

We do not want to go back and begin to charge for a treatment which has been given free for many years. Nor do we want at this particular stage to place a financial barrier between those whom we want to cure as quickly as possible of distressing ailments of this kind and their proper treatment. Another point that arises in connection with this matter is, how often are we to charge these people and for what? Normally injections are given, sometimes at infrequent intervals, though not, perhaps, over such a long period of time today as in the past, when in some cases the treatment was spread over several years. Cures can be effected much more quickly today than they could 10 or 15 years ago.

But, even so, does it mean that every time a man attends for treatment—sometimes he has two different drugs injected into him and may also be given some drug to take by mouth—he will be asked to pay the charge? I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will agree with me that in this matter her right hon. Friend might easily exempt this class of treatment from the charge. People undergoing such treatment do not normally get bottles of medicine or surgical appliances, so that here we are only dealing with the personal service given by the specialist to the patient.

Hon. Members on both sides of the Committee would like to have an assurance, not necessarily now but a little later on, that this type of clinic will be exempted from the charge. As hon. Members know, these clinics are not always isolated units. Very often, in order to avoid embarrassment, they are frequently attached to the great general hospitals, although they are always called special clinics because they only treat a particular condition. Therefore, there can be no problem for the Service generally in exempting them from the charges if the right hon. Gentleman so wishes, and we strongly urge him to do that.

Going back to the words "medical practitioner," on 27th March the Minister said:
"I will say what is generally proposed; we are still having conversations with doctors and chemists about the difficulties arising, particularly in rural areas. The proposals are that persons having prescriptions made up by chemists must pay not more than 1s. Persons who get their medicine from dispensing doctors pay 1s. when the medicine is dispensed."
At first sight, there does not seem to be any problem about it, but I would point out to the Parliamentary Secretary that the Service is going to find itself in real difficulty, and that very much more thought must be given to the matter than has apparently so far been given.

I will mention some of the difficulties I foresee and which will, no doubt, be mentioned by other hon. Members. If we accept the Minister's words, it means, first of all, that patients in urban areas can be given prescription form E.C. 110 which may contain many items for different medicines and drugs for long periods at a time. The Minister told us quite frankly, and he also told the medical profession, that he is not going to interfere with the way in which medical practitioners prescribe. He has said that it is not for him to tell the doctors their business or how to conduct it. I think it must be accepted that in future heed will be taken of the fact that charges for prescriptions are being made with the effect that larger quantities will be prescribed than heretofore, especially in chronic cases. That will obviously happen in all urban areas.

In rural areas there are 4,000 dispensing doctors. As regards those areas the Minister said:
"Persons who get their medicine from dispensing doctors pay 1s. when the medicine is dispensed."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 27th March. 1952; Vol. 498, c. 848.]
In these areas there are doctors who, like chemists, dispense by tariff and those who dispense by capitation. Those who dispense by tariff are obviously in no difficulty because they can dispense what they feel is necessary, charge the 1s. and then be surcharged and made to account for it. But where the capitation fee is used, the Minister and the Service will find themselves in trouble in this way. The doctor there makes up the medicines. It is because they think—

7.30 p.m.

On a point of order. May I draw attention to the fact that this Clause to which this Amendment is proposed affects only the hospital and specialist services in the outpatient departments? Whatever may be in order on Second Reading, it is surely entirely out of order to discuss on a very narrow Amendment all the problems which affect rural doctors throughout the country and are entirely unrelated not only to this Clause but to this Bill.

Further to that point. The Committee are put in a real difficulty here because, clearly, if it is intended to exclude medical practitioners from having to collect charges—which I understand is the intention in the clinic or the hospital—then it is impossible to discuss that except in relation to his brother doctor outside in a rural or other practice. I agree it would be quite wrong to discuss this at any length, but surely it is impossible to consider the position without reference to it.

I find some difficulty in ruling it out of order because we are now dealing with the whole question of the doctor having to collect the prescription charge. Perhaps we may have the benefit of the opinion of the Parliamentary Secretary.

The Clause to which this Amendment refers deals solely with the charges in the out-patient departments of hospitals. It does not deal with the wider issue covered by the previous Act.

It will be seen from line 9 that we are dealing only with Part II of the principal Act. Everything that has been said in relation to the rural doctor, and everything that has been said in the last few minutes by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross), relates to Part IV of the principal Act and the pharmaceutical and medical services provided thereunder. It cannot have anything to do with this Clause.

Further to that point of order. Clause 1 (1) of this Bill refers to

"… the making and recovery, in such manner as may be prescribed, of such charges as may be prescribed in respect of the supply, as part of the hospital and specialist services … of drugs, medicines or appliances."
We are most desirous of having this Amendment accepted so that medical practitioners in hospitals and in specialist services will be protected against having to make the charges or recover the money from the patients. I suggest therefore—and we feel very strongly about this—that we are discussing a matter of principle, and my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) was giving illustrations from what occurs in rural practices.

I did not realise just now that the Clause was so restricted. If the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central, confines himself to making a passing reference to medical practitioners, then we can continue to keep in order and I shall be very grateful to him.

Further to that point of order. There is something more to be said on this subject. It must not be assumed that a general practitioner cannot be a specialist and be attached to a hospital, and consequently it is quite possible that, although he is acting as general practitioner, he is also doing work of a specialist character for a hospital, and it might very well be that he might prescribe at somewhere other than at the hospital. We want to know whether in a case of that description, and if the Amendment were carried, he would not make a charge. I suggest that hon. Members opposite are taking too narrow a view. Whilst it is quite true this Clause deals with hospital and specialist services, that does not rule out the fact that a general practitioner may be attached to those services.

I ask the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central, to confine himself as far as possible to hospital services. We do not want to range too far.

I am grateful both to you, Sir Austen, and to the hon. Members who have brought this matter forward. It was obvious to me that there was a difficulty. I did not attempt to conceal it, and I put it to the Chair. I am sorry that the Parliamentary Secretary in her own personal opinion took a narrower view of this Clause than did her right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, who pleaded on Second Reading that we must go wider to get any commonsense out of it. Had we not done so we would have stultified our considerations. We cannot consider these things in fragments as if they were not joined to one another and were not part of the whole.

I will come back to the hospital services, since I appear to have strayed too far into the rural areas. Before I was interrupted, I was saying that it was apparent that the Minister is bound to be faced with difficulties because some people will be dispensing by tariff and some by capitation. Those dispensing by tariff will find it easier to collect and charge than those dispensing by capitation. This has been well understood by the profession as a whole. Quite frankly, I am bringing it forward because it is commonly understood and because I am sure the Minister has been having considerable discussions on the point.

We all hope he will solve the problem, though I feel he will have great difficulty because it is so complex. Confusion will be worse confounded in those areas where there are medical practitioners working part-time in hospital and part-time in practice, and particularly where one general practitioner dispenses by tariff and his neighbour dispenses by capitation. The confusion for the patient will be really dreadful. Those who are dispensing by capitation are complaining today that they are making a loss and will continue to make a loss.

But I plead the case from the point of view of the individual citizen. Is it not a fact that he will receive better value from those dispensing by tariff than from those dispensing by capitation? If the Parliamentary Secretary does not feel that she can make any promise now perhaps she will say that she will bring the matter before the Minister and perhaps at a later stage we shall hear the view of the Government after consultations have taken place.

We have seen a good deal in the medical Press about what is likely to happen. Outside, in the rural areas, it is not only medicine that is prescribed but also elastic hosiery in many cases. What is found particularly objectionable is the degradation of the status—whether in the hospital, in the clinic or in the countryside—of the practitioner himself and the spoiling of the relationship between him and the patient.

It may be the Parliamentary Secretary believes medical men are exaggerating when they complain on this issue, but I think she knows that the majority of them do so complain, officially through their representatives and unofficially. They have used the word "degradation" and that is why I have used it. I should like to quote from a letter in the "British Medical Journal" from a practitioner which I think will help the Committee to realise how medical men feel about this. It states:
"Apart from these considerations, in my opinion by far the most important aspect is the degrading and lowering effect it will have on the status of dispensing doctors. Most of us dispense for our patients because of our isolated situations, not because we want to. If we now have to collect a shilling at each consultation, find change, rattle cash-boxes and haggle over payment, each time becomes a sordid commercial transaction. I hope the B.M.A. will energetically resist this imposition in accodance with the resolution passed by the Annual Conference of Local Medical Committees."
That was from the British Medical Journal of 23rd February.

Now let me read only two or three lines from the editorial in the "British Medical Journal" of 9th February:
"The method proposed to collect this money will have the effect of turning dispensing doctors into tax collectors. The onus is put on the dispensing doctor of obtaining the shilling from the patient, for his remuneration will have a sum of money deducted from it in accordance with his prescribing. Therefore if he fails to extract his shilling—or a larger sum for elastic hosiery—he may be by that much out of pocket."
Another organisation, the Medical Practitioners' Union which put the matter very fairly if rather strongly, said this:
"It is the rural practitioner who will have the difficult time. Used to dispensing his own medicines, leaving them at bus stops, and by a hundred different manoeuvres arranging for their collection, he is now to become a tax-collector if the Chancellor has his way."
It is interesting that it is the Chancellor who is blamed and not the Minister, and I personally think that is right. They go on to say:
"He must contrive to extricate the odd shilling from patients, relatives and messengers who will wrongly conclude that the charge will enrich the doctor."
This is a thing that practitioners are anxious about, and there should be no misunderstanding about it:
"Even if there were no special difficulties of collection it would still impose an odious job upon him for which he would be quite unrewarded. He will in addition be required to give thousands of receipts in the case of hardship—free of charge. We feel strongly that rural doctors should refuse to under take this invidious task."
The Chair has been most kind in allowing me to develop this argument, and I am grateful to the Committee as a whole for allowing me to put the case in this way. Everyone knows that I have not attempted to do other than state the facts, give information, and ask for information. After all, this is a very serious matter, and we are none the worse for putting forward different points of view.

The next Amendment, which we are also now discussing, seeks to add the words:
"No chemist shall be required to determine the amount of any charge under this section."
The chemists and pharmacists feel very strongly that they should not be dragged in as agents for the collection of money in this way, and I am sure the Parliamentary Secretary will agree that we should respect their wishes in this matter. I know their reasons. They feel that their duty is to dispense, and that the amount of clerical work involved would almost surely face us with a request for increased remuneration or for extra clerical assistance. Above all, they do not want to be faced with the antagonism of medical men, or of the public who come to their shop counters for service. They fear that there may be some antagonism between themselves and the local doctor or doctors, either in the hospital or outside, if they have to determine what the charge shall be and the patient ultimately complains.

7.45 p.m.

I have already made my position clear in our earlier debates. I see that the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland smiles and appears to disagree. I am prepared to give way to him now if there is anything he wants to contribute. If a patient is given a prescription and thinks it is not to the full value of 1s., he might quite well ask the chemist how much it is worth and whether he can pay cash for it. The patient may later complain to the prescribing doctor that the prescription was worth less than 1s., and there may be difficulties between patient and doctor or doctor and patient. That is what the chemists want to avoid. But that is only part of their difficulty. They say they have enough to do finding the things to make up the doctors' prescriptions. They have a very special relationship with their patients.

Everybody knows, especially where a chemist is situated near an industrial undertaking, that very often minor casualties are taken to the chemist first, perhaps because the doctor is out on his rounds. They do a tremendous amount of advising and treatment. That applies to an even greater extent in holiday resorts, when people get stings, abrasions and cuts, and are treated for them, or advised about indigestion, and so on. The chemists do not want to be brought into this to act in any specific way, major or minor, in the asking of money from the public or in determining the amount to be paid. Again, the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland seems to find this vastly amusing.

I do not want to encourage the hon. Gentleman to continue his argument, which we have heard repeated time and time again during the course of this Bill. What makes me laugh is wondering how on earth he thinks the chemists ever got on before. His argument seems to me to be quite ridiculous. I suppose the chemist has never at any time in history asked for money for the drugs he prescribes? The hon. Gentleman is putting forward a most extraordinary theory.

I have never heard anything so myopic and so failing in understanding. The hon. and gallant Gentleman belongs to a party which is interested in private enterprise. Surely he understands there is a difference between asking for money for oneself and asking for it on behalf of somebody else and handing it over. Earlier, when I wondered whether he had heard my argument before, I gave him the opportunity of intervening, but he did not do so. It is quite apparent that he has not yet understood the argument and does not understand any of the implications. But he will learn; the pharmacists will ultimately teach him.

It ought to be pointed out that the pharmacists have been pressing this point for a long time. They have urged very strongly that, if there were to be any question of the collection of money, they would reserve the right to ask for some increase in their remuneration in order to cover their extra expenses, quite apart from the broader issues my hon. Friend raises.

I think we can leave it at that. The education of the Joint Under-Secretary we can leave to the pharmacists, who are a very able body of experienced craftsmen and professional men, who know what they are talking about.

I have had the opportunity of making several speeches in the course of the proceedings on this Bill. So far I have been doing my utmost to try to protect the patient from the hurt and the harm which I believe this Bill will inflict upon him or her. In this Amendment, however, I turn my attention to trying to protect the doctors. As I said a few moments ago, when I intervened on a point of order, I feel very deeply about this matter.

Before the war I was one of a small band of medical practitioners who advocated a national health service, and I reflect with pride upon the pioneer work of those days. I wanted a national health service for a large number of reasons. I will not weary the Committee by enumerating all of them, but I should like to mention the first three on the list. The first one was that I thought a national health service would be in accordance with humanitarian principles. I wanted medical attention to be available for all people in need of it, irrespective of their financial means.

The second reason could be described as having a utilitarian purpose. I believed it would profit our country to have a healthier population. The third reason was that having a national health service would enable us to raise the status and the dignity of the medical profession. I wanted to see the doctor divorced from trade. I wanted him to be able to devote the whole of his time and energy to the care of his patients.

When we look back in history I think it will be agreed that some centuries ago the doctor was little better than a pill pedlar; but the profession has always attracted distinguished members who, by their work and their fine example, have lifted the profession to its present honourable position.

I believe that the medical practitioner should be given adequate remuneration to allow him to employ his full concentration upon his professional work. This collecting of shillings by the medical practitioner, whether in hospital or in rural areas, will be an interference with his work, and it is a most degrading imposition. It means that the doctor cannot hand over the bottle of medicine to the old age pensioner, to the child or to the sick person urgently in need of it, until he has extracted from the patient one shilling.

The hon. and gallant Members says "Nonsense." If the doctor gives a bottle of medicine without receiving 1s. he suffers financially.

The doctors are not concerned with this.

I am sorry the Minister should intervene and say that the doctors are not concerned with this. This concerns the doctors very much indeed. The Minister has had to be absent from our deliberations for some time and he does not realise just what my hon. Friend and I are trying to do. We are trying to protect the doctors from having to levy charges upon the patients before they have their drugs and medicines. I think I have every right to speak on that matter and to try to persuade the right hon. Gentleman to accept our Amendment.

The effect of this imposition which he puts upon the doctors is that the Chancellor of the Exchequer can trespass into the sanctity of the consulting room, disrupting the confidential and delicate relationship between the doctor and the patient. I see that the right hon. Gentleman is laughing. I do not think that this is a laughing matter.

It is not a laughing matter, but it does not seem to have any relevance. I apologise for having just come into the Committee, but what the hon. Member is saying does not seem to have any relevance to this Clause. This has nothing to do with doctors' charges; this refers to hospitals.

As I said a moment ago, I regret that it was necessary for the Minister to be absent from our deliberations for a while; but you will remember, Sir Austin, that this question was put to you a short time ago, and you gave your Ruling that it was in order, because there is nothing in this Bill to prevent the Minister, by means of Regulations, insisting that the doctors who are working in hospitals as resident medical officers or as specialists, full-time or part-time, should make and recover charges for drugs and medicines.

As I said to the Minister as soon as he came into the Chamber, what we are trying to do is to protect the medical practitioner from such an imposition. It would be a serious, retrograde step. It is a step that would be disliked by patients and detested by doctors. I regard it as an insult to an honourable profession. It means that the doctor would be forced into employment as a part-time, unpaid, unwilling tax collector.

On a point of order. I am sorry, but if the hon. Member will read the fourth line, Clause 1 (1) it talks about

"the supply, as part of the hospital and specialist services under Part II of the principal Act …."
and that has nothing to do with doctors having to give prescriptions and collect the charges, which is what the hon. Gentleman is talking about.

Further to that point of order. I am really surprised that the Minister should make a statement of that description. In some hospitals there will be no other machinery, unless special machinery is set up for the purpose. One can have an out-patient department of a hospital which is prescribing, where it is necessary for the doctor not merely to say that the prescription costs 1s. but to take the shilling. This Amendment seeks to prevent that sort of thing happening.

I think I should say a word about the point of order. As I understand it, the Amendment is in order; but if the Minister, in his reply, says that in no circumstances under this Clause could a medical practitioner or a chemist possibly be asked to do this work, it would probably close the debate on this matter. But as far as the Chair is concerned nothing has been said which is out of order.

I think you went a little further in your Ruling, Sir Austin, and said that not only was this Amendment in order but that for the purpose of illustration we could refer briefly to the matter of the imposition which is liable to be placed upon medical practitioners in rural areas. I most certainly respect your Ruling, as I do all Rulings from the Chair. I should like to refer to the serious problem of this imposition on rural doctors, but I shall respect your wishes and refer to it only very briefly.

8.0 p.m.

Would the Minister be good enough, when he comes to reply, to let us know whether it is correct that there has been a very strong protest from the dispensing doctors? I understand that there are between 4,000 and 5,000 doctors who dispense for their patients, that they have protested about this imposition and that they are backed by all their professional colleagues.

Perhaps the Minister, who seems so agitated about all this, would stand up at the Box now and tell us that he will accept this Amendment; then we shall know that the medical profession is protected against this imposition, and I will sit down. If he will do that, I suggest that we shall have made some progress. Apparently the Minister does not accept my invitation, and I am very sorry that he does not.

I rise to make the same point as I made before. The hon. Gentleman keeps confusing this with questions which arise under the original Act with regard to prescriptions given by general practitioners under that Act, which has nothing to do with this Clause whatsoever. This has to do with hospital services and has nothing to do with rural practitioners.

Perhaps there has been an error in calling this Amendment.

If there has been a mistake in calling this Amendment, Sir Charles, you may have made a mistake in refusing to call other Amendments as well. Will you reconsider your whole argument?

We had a discussion with the Chair on this matter during your absence, Sir Charles, and it was suggested that you had been perfectly right in suggesting to the then Chairman that this Amendment should be called. I rose on a point of order and explained that Clause 1 (1) is for the purpose of making regulations to provide for the making and recovery

"of such charges as may be prescribed in respect of the supply, as part of the hospital and specialist services … of drugs, medicines or appliances."
There is nothing new. I am sorry that the Minister was away and that I am having to repeat all this again, but there is nothing to prevent the Minister from laying down regulations insisting that doctors employed in hospitals, whether it be as resident medical officers or as specialists, full-time or part-time, should not be compelled to make and recover charges for drugs and medicines.

My hon. Friends and I want to protect the members of the medical profession against such an imposition. While the hon. Member for Lewisham, North (Sir A. Hudson) was in the Chair, he went a little further and stated that for the purpose of illustration we might refer very briefly to the matter of the collection of the shillings by rural practitioners because it was included in the same principle. If the Minister had been in the Chamber at the start of my speech, he would have realised that I am arguing on a matter of principle. I think that it is wrong that doctors should be used as tax collectors whether they are employed in a hospital or whether they are employed in general practice in rural areas.

After that long interruption, may I return to my theme? I have been very disappointed in a large number of ways in the course of our proceedings on this Bill. First, I am extremely disappointed that the Government have not been able to accept a single one of our Amendments. Second, I am disappointed to realise what right hon. and hon. Members sitting on the Tory benches think about the medical profession. They think very little of the medical profession, as they have shown in the course of our debates.

On the second Reading of the Bill, the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) made an allegation against the general practitioners, saying that they were shirking their work and pushing patients into hospital unnecessarily.

I would point out that on the Second Reading I made no such allegation. I quoted from the Report of the Select Committee on Estimates of this House, which is a matter of record.

I am quite aware that the hon. Member quoted from the Report, but he quoted from it in order to use it in support of his argument that the charge of 1s. should be imposed upon patients attending the out-patients' departments of hospitals. On the Second Reading, the Minister, as I told him yesterday, insulted the specialists by mentioning the alleged abuse of surgical appliances.

If we have a reply from the Minister, as I hope we shall, I should not regard it as satisfactory if we were merely told that there are discussions going on at the present time between representatives of the medical profession and the Minister as to whether doctors should have this imposition put upon them of being made tax collectors. If the Minister has nothing to say other than that there are discussions taking place at the present time, then I know the purpose of those discussions. They are to persuade, to threaten and to bully the medical profession into having to collect the shillings.

If this Amendment cannot be accepted, I think that it would be far better if, instead of the Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary answering, they would send to the Ministry of Food for the Parliamentary Secretary to come and answer this question. It would be most interesting for him to stand up at that Box and say that this Amendment is unacceptable. Let him tell the House and the country that he and his political colleagues will not accept this Amendment, and by it suppress the honourable aspirations of the medical profession.

I feel that the Minister, in spite of his laughter, should he able to accept this Amendment, because it is in one sense, as he rightly says, a narrow one which it should not be at all difficult to incorporate in the Bill. It is true that in so far as it deals purely with hospital specialist services it should not be difficult for him to say that he has no intention of using medical practitioners for the collection of charges from hospitals, out-patients, pharmacists and the rest.

Therefore, there should be no great difficulty from his point of view in including these words in the provisions of the Bill. What he has rather failed to understand—I should have thought that he would have know it from the representations which have been made—is that the profession regard it as a matter of very real principle, whether it applies in the hospital service or elsewhere.

Indeed, I remember that the Labour Government wrote into the Health Service many provisions in order to meet that kind of representation. The medical profession were anxious to have written into the Bill various provisos and safeguards which we said we intended to provide under regulations, but they quite properly said that they wanted to see them written into the Bill.

All we are asking in these Amendments is that what we understand to be the intention of the Government in this regard shall be written into the Bill and that, as a matter of the very greatest consequence and principle to the whole medical profession and to the pharmacists—they have been urging this upon the Minister by representations in every possible way—it should receive recognition in the Bill.

The British Medical Association, as is well known, passed a resolution which said that under no circumstances whatever should a doctor be required to be an agent to collect a Government charge on prescriptions. The easiest way for the Minister to meet the demands of the profession would be to write into the Clause that such is not his intention and, more than that, that he will not require the medical profession to act in this way.

We want to follow this somewhat further. The second Amendment very properly says that no chemist should be required to determine the amount of any charge under the Clause. That deals with the pharmacist who is making up prescriptions in the hospital or in the outpatients clinic. Nowadays there are many very large out-patients units, and we hope there will be many more, and, therefore, it is a matter of very real consequence whether or not a pharmacist, who is already very busy, should be required to do the extra job of calculating the extra cost of the prescription which is being made up.

So far we have had only the vaguest word as to who is to do the work of collecting the charges and finding out what the charges are to be. One statement that we had was that it would be left to the hospital management committees to decide who would do the work. We want to know something more than that. We want to have laid before us before we leave this matter any directions or circulars which have been issued to the management committees advising how they are to do this. We want to know whether or not such circulars have been issued.

We want to know whether in any of these cases this will be the job of the pharmacist. If so, it will inevitably mean an imposition upon the pharmacists which they greatly resent and which they understood the Ministry had promised would not be placed on them. It also means that extra work will be entailed and extra staff will inevitably be required.

These are not unimportant matters. They are matters of principle which are of very great moment indeed to the professions concerned. They could be perfectly easily written in by the right hon. Gentleman without in any way infringing the general purpose of his Measure, much as we dislike it. There is no reason at all why he should not grant us this small concession and in that way demonstrate to the profession the sincerity of his oft-expressed desire not to use them in this way. I appeal to him to give the first sign of any concession that he has yet made to this side of the Committee.

8.15 p.m.

On a point of order, Sir Charles. I noticed on the indicators that Amendments Nos. 1–3 are being discussed. I understood that when the Amendments were being discussed in the early stages it was agreed that Amendments Nos. 1 and 2 should be taken together and that Amendment No. 3 should be called separately. May I have your Ruling on this?

Further to that point of order. This question arose when I was speaking. When I was referring to the first and second Amendments I was asked whether I would include the third. I pointed out that there was a great difference in principle between the third Amendment and the first and second Amendments. The Chair was kind enough to allow me to deal with the first and second Amendments only, and so far the third Amendment has not been discussed or called.

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman, because I thought the three should come together—

It was decided, however, that only the first and second Amendments should be taken together. The original idea was that the three would be taken together.

The discussion has ranged over many matters which are not the concern of the Bill, and I feel it beholden upon me to bring the Committee back to the Clause under discussion, which relates to the:

"… manner as may be prescribed, of such charges as may be prescribed in respect of the supply, as part of the hospital and specialist services under Part II of the principal Act, of drugs, medicines or appliances."
The effect of the Amendment would be to relieve any doctor of any obligation to collect charges in connection with the supply of drugs, medicines or appliances to hospital out-patients.

There has obviously been a misunderstanding regarding the effect of the Amendment, because the possibility of a doctor collecting charges from hospital out-patients really hardly arises. I was surprised to find the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Messer) suggesting that there were hospitals where there was no one else but a doctor to collect the charges.

Is the hon. Lady not aware that hospitals have special clinics which are not on the site of the hospital and it would be the most convenient thing in the world for a management committee to instruct a medical officer in charge of such an outside clinic to collect the shillings from the patients?

Might I also point out to the hon. Lady that pharmacists are not on duty throughout the whole of the 24 hours in hospitals and that patients come in at all times of the day and night and righly demand treatment, and therefore the prescriptions or the medicines have to be made up by the medical officer on duty? That happens at nearly every hospital that I have ever heard of.

The hon. Gentleman says that that happens in every hospital that he has ever heard of, but does he seriously suggest that the majority of our hospitals are denuded of staff during the evenings except for medical officers? [HON. MEMBERS: "Yes."] The dispensers are generally there.

Certainly not. How many hospitals in London have dispensers on duty during 24 hours? I have never known of one.

No, Sir. Hon. Gentlemen know perfectly well that they have raised an exception which is not relevant to the main issue. The hon. Member for Tottenham, as chairman of one of the regional boards, knows very well that his hospitals are not so ill-staffed that in the main doctors are doing the dispensing.

Is the hon. Lady aware that there are special clinics, such as tuberculosis clinics, which are not on the site of the hospital and are staffed by a medical man, a health visitor and a nurse, and that in such a case it is possible for an arrangement to be made that a doctor shall take the 1s. prescription fees?

Even those clinics are staffed by people who see the patients in and mark their cards, and it should not be beyond the wit of management committees to make a satisfactory arrangement.

It is unfortunate that the hon. Lady has no knowledge at all about this.

The hon. Lady is quite wrong. The possibility of a doctor having to collect charges from out-patients is very remote. It is significant that, despite the comments of the Opposition, no representations whatever have been made about this Clause by the profession, because the profession knows that this does not arise.

Is the hon. Lady now saying that there is no need for these words? If she is not intending that the doctors should have to do this work, then there is no reason why these words should not be put in to satisfy the medical profession, not only in this issue, but on the wider issue that is being raised.

The medical profession are apparently so convinced that it will not cause them distress that they have made no representations. The only representations have been the misleading speeches of hon. Members opposite.

I have not taken part in this debate, and I have not been called upon or given an opportunity to speak, but I hope that I might be allowed at this stage to make one observation. The hon. Lady is showing a complete want of knowledge in this matter, and I am surprised that she has not been well briefed by the excellent Civil Service in the Ministry of Health. Almost every statement she has made about the service has been inaccurate.

It is a common practice in hospitals and in the adjuncts of hospitals that in the afternoons and at mid-day when the first morning rush is over that the work done is not done by the dispenser, because dispensary hours cannot last the whole of the time and there have to be a series of reliefs. What happens and what is a constant part of the work is that the medical officer or medical officers on duty do this particular work. When we are discussing a Bill of this sort we are entitled to some accuracy from the Government Front Bench.

I am not saying that the dispensers do all this work. What I am saying is that there are no hospitals so lacking in staff that there is not somebody there to collect the 1s. on the prescription. There was a very wide discussion, well outside this particular Amendment, regarding the rural doctors—

I was consulting with my adviser at the time and did not hear what was said.

I am sure I do not need to call upon the hon. Lady to respect the Chair.

It is obvious that hon. Members opposite are determined to prevent me from answering the debate.

That is not true. The hon. Lady has no right to make a statement of that kind.

I do not think the hon. Member for Warrington (Dr. Morgan) has been here during our debate.

Arrangements with the rural doctors are in the process of being worked out, and we believe that arrangements will be come to which will be satisfactory to both sides. I do not propose to enter into an argument on the very controversial points which have been made, when these negotiations are progressing very smoothly through co-operation by the members of the profession.

I am very grateful to the hon. Lady for giving way. I am not pressing the point at all, but only asking her about a specific aspect of hospital out-patients treatment which I mentioned this afternoon.

With the very greatest respect to the hon. Gentleman, the subject which he mentioned this afternoon, namely, patients who are suffering from venereal disease, is the subject of another Amendment, and I do not think it is wholly relevant here.

If it is not going to be called I am very happy to meet the hon. Gentleman and give him the reply, although I would not think that it came strictly under this particular Amendment. It is not proposed to charge for drugs, etc., supplied at a clinic to patients suffering from venereal disease. This exemption will be made in the regulations.

In the narrow scope of this Amendment chemists deal with few out-patients prescriptions. If a hospital out-patient gets a prescription in the hospital dispensary he will pay a shilling. If he decides not to pay the flat-rate charge of 1s. but thinks the item would cost him less that that sum, then he is perfectly at liberty to buy outside the Health Service from a chemist, and in such a case it will feature with the chemist as an ordinary transaction over the counter.

Some hon. Members opposite spoke as if chemists never priced prescriptions or assessed the price of items which they sold over the counter. I think it was a little unfair to suggest that we were calling on chemists to render charges and assess the price of prescriptions as though it were something they had not done for many years.

Would the hon. Lady be good enough to expand that a little. As I understand her, the patient who is not happy about the cost of a prescription in the hospital's out-patient department can take it to the chemist and the chemist then decides whether its cost is less than 1s. or not. What I should like to know is, firstly, what hospital ever allowed a patient to take his medicine card to the chemist outside? It is not a written prescription but a medicine card. Secondly, how many chemists would understand the shorthand which is peculiar to a particular hospital? All sorts of funny things are written. When I was a student some of us wrote a.d.m. and a.d.t. My hon. Friend the Member for Batley and Morley (Dr. Broughton) will understand what a.d.t. means; "a" means "any" and "t" means "thing."

I will not comment on the hon. Gentleman's prescribing.

A great deal is being made on the issue of the very small number of prescriptions that would be paid for privately outside the Health Service. There are, of course, hospitals where prescriptions have to be dispensed by others because there are not the dispensers, but I cannot say straight off what the answer is to the hon. Member who raised the matter. I do not think it is beyond working out, but it is a matter which will be dealt with by the hospitals concerned. One hon. Gentleman raised the matter of charges for drugs, etc., in a clinic. The charge will apply on prescriptions for drugs which are supplied and are taken to be used outside the hospital.

As far as the pharmaceutical profession are concerned, we are working out arrangements in consultation with them. I do not accept the comments of hon. Gentlemen opposite that they are not willing to co-operate with us in this particular measure.

One final item was raised by the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop), when he protested that the hospitals should be asked to collect charges. At present they have, and use, the machinery provided under previous legislation to collect charges for repairs to appliances damaged or lost through negligence, for the replacement of which patients may have to pay. In certain specialist hospitals also, charges have been collected for spectacles and dentures. I am sure it is not beyond the wit of the hospital management committees to make arrangements in respect of the other charges which it is proposed to introduce under this Bill.

Generally, the debate has ranged wide. So far as the first Amendment is concerned, the doctor will not have to collect money in the hospital, to any material degree. In the case of the second Amendment, if the doctor prescribes something costing less than 1s., the prescription can be made up outside the Health Service as an ordinary, private, over-the-counter transaction.

8.30 p.m.

We are rather disappointed with the reply which the Minister has given to the Committee. I want to deal briefly with the position of the chemists under this Bill. As a preface, I would say that the chemists were not particularly enamoured of the Health Service when it began, but that they have loyally backed it up and, in their recent discussions, they have revealed alarm at the prospects envisaged under this Bill in respect of the charges to be made.

Just as they indicated in advance that they would support the National Health Service Act, they have indicated at their recent meetings that they are prepared to support whatever charges the Minister may propose under this Bill, but they are alarmed at what is happening. At a meeting of the North London Pharmaceutical Association on 20th March, the Vice-President expressed the view that I have tried to present when he said that the 1s. levy was unwelcome and would tend to raise a barrier between the pharmacist and the public.

He said that in agreeing not to oppose the charges the Pharmaceutical Society had shown a commendable spirit, but the "Pharmaceutical Journal" itself says that in principle the charges are indefensible. So that if in this Committee I make criticisms that have been expressed to me by chemists who have loyally served the National Health Service, it is not from a political point of view but from the point of view of a profession far less likely to be labour than the people speaking on these benches, a branch of the scientific professions which has served the Service faithfully, and which is prepared to work the scheme although seriously concerned about practical difficulties I was amazed that in this Committee the two Ministers should argue that the chemists were behaving irresponsibly when they talked about the difficulty of pricing prescriptions because they had had to do it in times past. Neither of the two Ministers seems to know that in olden days millions of people in this country were unable to take doctors' prescriptions to chemists because they could not afford to do so. There has been a vast increase not only in the amount of business done by the chemists but also in the administering of doctors' prescriptions brought to them.

My chemist friends have told me that in their opinion the only way in which this scheme can work is if we charge a flat rate of 1s., whatever the cost of the prescription. If the patient has the right to know the value of what he is going to be charged 1s. for over the counter—and surely the Government would not want to charge him 1s. for 3d. worth of medicine. I believe it is a fantastic suggestion that the patient should be his own pricer, which is what the Minister suggested.

The Minister has said today, as well as previously, that if the patient does not want to pay the 1s. until he is sure that he will get 1s. worth of value, he must take the prescription away, price it and then, if he does not approve of the price, buy it in the ordinary way. But he cannot do that without going to the chemist to get the medicine priced.

I believe that patients will demand to know the cost of the prescriptions, and the chemists tell me that this will mean extra skilled labour and time wasted in the chemists' shops of the country, which are already working very long hours at the moment. My hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) was right when he said that if we put extra work on the pharmacists, they will demand extra reward.

I want to point out the special problems of the rural chemist in dealing with the varying charge of a prescription. A rural chemist writes to me:
"Rural chemists never see a very large proportion of their clients. Many and varied are the means by which the E.C.10s reach the chemist from isolated farms and hamlets. Bundles of these prescriptions are brought in by bakers' roundsmen, butchers and neighbours. They are dispensed and delivered to isolated patients by the co-operation and voluntary good will service of the rural community."
He points out that the imposition of a charge, and above all the imposition of a charge which the chemist will have to price on the spot so that the patient who is not there will know whether he is prepared to pay for it or not—all this will break up much of the co-operative rural good will in carrying out the medical requirements of people in the countryside. If the chemist has to determine the price, then the voluntary helper who is taking the prescription to the chemist for the district patient will have to decide whether the patient will be willing to pay the 1s. He will have to get a receipt if the patient intends to claim the money later on, so the patient will have to share the secret with the voluntary helper that he cannot afford to pay the 1s. and that he will reclaim it.

A chemist pointed out to me that often the person coming for a prescription is a child who brings no money, and that there is a loss to the chemist if the 1s. is not paid at the time. Certainly if a question is put when the child is buying the prescription as to whether the prescription is under 1s. and whether the child will have to pay that sum or the 1s. itself it will make the problem fantastic.

Again, pharmacists tell me that repeat orders for prescriptions vary in detail. On one occasion a doctor may prescribe a certain quantity of a drug which may take the cost over 1s. but may subsequently prescribe a smaller quantity of the drug which will bring the cost just under 1s. The chemists, therefore, will have to explain to the patient the difference in price between the two prescriptions. This is one of the things which makes the chemist say that the charges proposed will cause friction between him and patients.

I want to mention also the complicated nature of the Minister's system of payment to chemists. The chemists are now being paid for prescriptions which were dispensed over a year ago. Indeed, I understand that they are receiving now their final settlements for prescriptions which were prescribed some 18 months ago, less the advances which the Minister has given them on account from time to time.

Into this already difficult pattern of National Health Service finance, we shall now have to place, the chemists tell me, three groups: the new patient, the patient who pays the shilling, and the rural group, for which the Minister, I hope, will say that he is going to make some provision. The chemists imagine that the rural group will overcome the problem by some kind of 1s. stamp.

Then there is the group for which the professional chemist, by his own medical conscience, will have to dispense free because of the emergencies that a chemist must meet in honour to his profession without worrying about money. There is the subsidiary group of prescriptions dispensed and not paid for, for a variety of reasons. Already the chemist has to divide the prescriptions which he dispenses into two groups: those under 5s. and those over 5s. He will now have to add to the division of the various prescriptions which he dispenses all this extra number of groups. The chemists feel that this will certainly delay what is already very much behind time: the settlement of their accounts.

Division No.81.]


[8.45 p.m.

Aitken, W. T.Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Crowder, John E. (Finchley)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Boyle, Sir EdwardCrowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)
Alport, C. J. M.Brains, B. R.Cuthbert, W. N.
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)Davidson, Viscountess
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)
Arbuthnot, JohnBrooke, Henry (Hampstead)Deedes, W. F.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Brooman-White, R. C.Dighy, S. Wingfield
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Dodds-Parker, A. D.
Baker, P. A. D.Bullard, D. G.Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Bullock, Capt. M.Donner, P. W.
Baldwin, A. E.Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Drewe, C.
Banks, Col. C.Burden, F. F. A.Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.
Barber, A. P. L.Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Duthie, W. S.
Baxter, A. B.Carson, Hon. E.Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.
Beach, Maj. HicksCary, Sir RobertEden, Rt. Hon. A.
Beamish, Maj. TuftonChannon, H.Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.Erroll, F. J.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Fell, A.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Finlay, Graeme
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Cole, NormanFisher, Nigel
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Colegate, W. A.Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.
Bennett, William (Woodside)Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Fletcher-Cooke, C.
Birch, NigelCooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertFort, R.
Bishop, F. P.Cooper-Key, E. M.Foster, John
Black, C. W.Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)
Boothby, R. J. G.Cranborne, ViscountGage, C. H.
Bossom, A. C.Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollock)
Bowen, E. R.Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)

I therefore say in all seriousness that we cannot add to the burden of the pharmacists the burden of pricing prescriptions on the spot to satisfy the people who want to pay either cash if the cost is under 1s., or the 1s. if a prescription costs more than that amount. It is for the Minister to solve that problem.

I do not want to weary the Committee by reading at length a communication which I have received from an outstanding chemist in my town, who is certainly not a member of my political party but who elaborates in his letter the long processes and the extra work which the collection of this charge will involve on the chemists. It is part of his argument that, in his view, the only way in which this fantastic and miserable new charge can be made is to have a flat rate prescription charge of 1s., whatever the drugs dispensed. I urge the Minister to think again about what we have been saying and to see whether he cannot in his negotiations with the chemists evolve something to solve some of the problems I have mentioned.

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, 284; Noes, 260.

Gammans, L. D.Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Garner-Evans, E. H.Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)Russell, R. S.
George, Rt. Hon. Mai. G. LloydLucas-Tooth, Sir HughRyder, Capt. R. E. D.
Glyn, Sir RalphLyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Godber, J. B.McAdden, S. J.Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.McCallum, Major D.Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Gough, C. F. H.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Scott, R. Donald
Gower, H. R.Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Graham, Sir FergusMakeson, Brig. H. R.Shepherd, William
Gridley, Sir ArnoldMcKie, J. H. (Galloway)Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Maclean, FitzroySmithers, Peter (Winchester)
Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Harden, J. R. E.MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Hare, Hon. J. H.Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)Snadden, W. McN.
Harris, Reader (Heston)Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)Soames, Capt. C.
Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)Spearman, A. C. M.
Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)Speir, R. M.
Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Markham, Major S. F.Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Harvie-Watt, Sir GeorgeMarlowe, A. A. H.Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Hay, JohnMarples, A. E.Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Heald, Sir LionelMarshall, Douglas (Bodmin)Stevens, G. P.
Heath, EdwardMarshall, Sidney (Sutton)Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W)
Henderson, John (Cathcart)Maude, AngusStewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Higgs, J. M. C.Maudling, R.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Maydon, Lt.-Comdr. S. L. C.Storey, S.
Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)Medlicott, Brig. F.Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Hinchingbrooke, ViscountMellor, Sir JohnStuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Hirst, GeoffreyMolson, A. H. E.Studholme, H. G.
Holland-Martin, C. J.Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir WalterSummers, G. S.
Hollis, M. C.Morrison, John (Salisbury)Sutcliffe, H.
Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Hope, Lord JohnNabarro, G. D. N.Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Hopkinson, HenryNicholls, HarmarTeeling, W.
Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Horobin, I. M.Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. FlorenceNield, Basil (Chester)Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Howard, Greville (St. Ives)Nugent, G. R. H.Thorneycroft, R. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)Nutting, AnthonyThornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Hurd, A. R.Oakshott, H. D.Tilney, John
Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)Odey, G. W.Touche, G. C.
Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.)Turner, H. F. L.
Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.Turton, R. H.
Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.Orr, Capt. L. P. S.Tweedsmuir, Lady
Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)Vane, W. M. F.
Jennings, R.Osborne, C.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Partridge, E.Vosper, D. F.
Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)Peake, Rt. Hon. O.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Jones, A. (Hall Green)Perkins, W. R. D.Walker-Smith, D. C.
Keeling, Sir EdwardPeto, Brig. C. H. M.Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)Peyton, J. W. W.Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Lambert, Hon. G.Pilkington, Capt. R. A.Watkinson, H. A.
Lambton, ViscountPitman, I. J.Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Lancaster, Col. C. G.Powell, J. EnochWellwood, W.
Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)White, Baker (Canterbury)
Leather, E. H. C.Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Profumo, J. D.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)Raikes, H. V.Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.Rayner, Brig. R.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Lindsay, MartinRedmayne, E.Wills, G.
Linstead, H. N.Remnant, Hon. P.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Llewellyn, D. T.Renton, D. L. M.Wood, Hon. R.
Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)Roberts, Peter (Heeley)York, C.
Lloyd, Rt. Hon, Selwyn (Wirral)Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.Robson-Brown, W.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)Mr. Butcher and Mr. Kaberry.
Low, A. R. W.Roper, Sir Harold


Acland, Sir RichardBenson, G.Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)
Adams, RichardBeswick, F.Brown, Thomas (Ince)
Albu, A. H.Bevan, Rt. Hon. A (Ebbw Vale)Burke, W. A.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)Bing, G. H. C.Burton, Miss F. E.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Blackburn, F.Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Blenkinsop, A.Callaghan, L. J.
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Blyton, W. R.Carmichael, J.
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Boardman, H.Castle, Mrs. B. A.
Awbery, S. S.Bottomley, Rt. Hon A. G.Champion, A. J.
Bacon, Miss AliceBowden, H. W.Chapman, W. D.
Baird, J.Bowles, F. G.Chetwynd, G. R.
Balfour, A.Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethClunie, J.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon F. J.Brockway, A. F.Cocks, F. S.
Bence, C. R.Brook, Dryden (Halifax)Coldrick, W.
Benn, WedgwoodBroughton, Dr. A. D. D.Collick, P. H.

Cook, T. F.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Reid, Thomas (Swindon).
Corbet, Mrs. FredaJay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Reid, William (Camlachie)
Cove, W. G.Jeger, George (Goole)Rhodes, H.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)Richards, R.
Crosland, C. A. R.Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Crossman, R. H. S.Johnson, James (Rugby)Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Cullen, Mrs. A.Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Jones, David (Hartlepool)Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S)Ross, William
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)Jones, Jack (Rotherham)Royle, C.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Keenan, W.Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
de Freitas, GeoffreyKey, Rt. Hon. C. W.Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Deer, G.King, Dr. H. M.Short, E. W.
Delargy, H. J.Lee, Frederick (Newton)Shurmer, P. L. E.
Donnelly, D. L.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Driberg, T. E. N.Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)Lewis, ArthurSmith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Lindgren, G. S.Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S)
Edelman, M.Logan, D. G.Snow, J. W.
Edwards, John (Brighouse)MacColl, J. E.Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)McGhee, H. G.Sparks, J. A.
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)McInnes, J.Steele, T.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)McKay, John (Wallsend)Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)McLeavy, F.Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Ewart, R.MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Strachey, Rt. Hon J.
Fernyhough, E.McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)
Field, W. J.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Stross, Dr. Barnett
Fienburgh, W.Mainwaring, W. H.Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
Finch, H. J.Mallalieu, E. L. (Bragg)Swingler, S. T.
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E)Sylvester, G. O.
Follick, M.Mann, Mrs. JeanTaylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Foot, M. M.Manual, A. C.Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Forman, J. C.Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Mayhew, C. P.Thomas, David (Aberdara)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.Mellish, R. J.Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Gibson, C. W.Messer, F.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Glanville, JamesMikardo, IanThorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Gooch, E. G.Mitchison, G. R.Thurtle, Ernest
Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Monslow, W.Timmons, J.
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)Moody, A. S.Tomney, F.
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefie'd)Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.Turner-Samuels, M.
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.Morley, R.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Gray, C. F.Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)Viant, S. P.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lawisham, S.)Wallace, H. W.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mort, D. L.Watkins, T. E.
Griffiths, William (Exchange)Moyle, A.Webb, Rt. Hon M. (Bradford, C.)
Grimond, J.Mulley, F. W.Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Murray, J. D.Wells, William (Walsall)
Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Nally, W.West, D. G.
Hamilton, W. W.Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Hannan, W.O'Brien, T.White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Hardy, E. A.Oliver, G. H.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Hargreaves, A.Oswald, T.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)Padley, W. E.Wigg, George
Hastings, S.Paget, R. T.Wilkins, W. A.
Hayman, F. H.Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)Panned, CharlesWilliams, David (Neath)
Herbison, Miss M.Pargitar, G. A.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillary)
Hewitson, Capt. M.Parker, J.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Hobson, C. R.Paton, J.Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Holman, P.Peart, T. F.Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Houghton, DouglasPlummer, Sir LeslieWilson, Rt. Hon Harold (Huyton)
Hoy, J. H.Popplewell, E.Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Hubbard, T. F.Porter, G.Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)Wyatt, W. L.
Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)Yates, V. F.
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Proctor, W. T.Younger, Rt. Hon. K.
Hynd, H. (Accrington)Pryde, D. J.
Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Pursey, Cmdr. H.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Rankin, JohnMr. Pearson and Mr. Holmes.
Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)Reeves, J.

Question put accordingly, "The those words be there inserted."

Division No. 82]


[8.55 p.m.

Acland, Sir RichardAnderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Bellenger, Rt. Hon F. J.
Adams, RichardAttlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Bence, C. R.
Albu, A. H.Awbery, S. S.Benn, Wedgwood
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)Bacon, Miss AliceBenson, G.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Baird, J.Beswick, F.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Balfour, A.Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)

The committee divided: Ayes, 263; Noes,284.

Bing, G. H. C.Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)Popplewell, E.
Blackburn, F.Hastings, S.Porter, G.
Blenkinsop, A.Hayman, F. H.Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)
Blyton, W. R.Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)Price, Phillips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Boardman, H.Henderson, Rt. Hon. A (Rowley Regis)Proctor, W. T.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A G.Herbison, Miss M.Pryde, D. J.
Bowden, H. W.Hewitson, Capt. M.Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Bowles, F. G.Hobson, C. R.Rankin, John
Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethHolman, P.Reeves, J.
Brockway, A. F.Houghton, DouglasReid, Thomas (Swindon)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax)Hoy, J. H.Reid, William (Camlachie)
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hubbard, T. F.Rhodes, H.
Brown, Rt. Hon George (Belper)Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Richards, R.
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Burke, W. A.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Burton, Miss F. E.Hynd, H. (Accrington)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Callaghan, L. J.Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Ross, William
Carmichael, J.Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)Royle, C.
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Champion, A. J.Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Shackleton, E. A. A.
Chapman, W. D.Jeger, George (Goole)Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Chetwynd, G. R.Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Clunie, J.Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)Short, E. W.
Cocks, F. S.Johnson, James (Rugby)Shurmer, P. L. E.
Coldrick, W.Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Collick, P. H.Jones, David (Hartlepool)Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)
Cook, T. F.Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Corbel, Mrs. FredaJones, Jack (Rotherham)Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)
Cove, W. G.Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Snow, J. W.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Keenan, W.Soskice, Rt. Hon Sir Frank
Crosland, C. A. R.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Sparks, J. A.
Crossman, R. H. S.King, Dr. H. M.Steele, T.
Cullen, Mrs. A.Lee, Frederick (Newton)Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)Lewis, ArthurStrauss, Rt. Hon George (Vauxhall)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Lindgren, G. S.Stross, Dr. Barnett
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Logan, D. G.Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.
de Freitas, GeoffreyMacColl, J. E.Swingler, S. T.
Deer, G.McGhee, H. G.Sylvester, G. O.
Delargy, H. J.McInnes, J.Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Donnelly, D. L.McKay, John (Wallsend)Taylor, John (West Lothian)
Driberg, T. E. N.McLeavy, F.Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W Bromwich)MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Thomas, David (Aberdare)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Edelman, M.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Edwards, John (Brighouse)Mainwaring, W. H.Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Thurtle, Ernest
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Timmons, J.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)Mann, Mrs. JeanTomney, F.
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)Manuel, A. C.Turner-Samuels, M.
Ewart, R.Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Fernyhough, E.Mayhew, C. P.Viant, S. P.
Field, W. J.Mellish, R. J.Wallace, H. W.
Fienburgh, W.Messer, F.Watkins, T. E.
Finch, H. J.Mikardo, IanWebb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)Mitchison, G. R.Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Follick, M.Monslow, W.Wells, William (Walsall)
Foot, M. M.Moody, A. S.West, D. G.
Forman, J. C.Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Morley, R.White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Freeman, Peter (Newport)Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Gibson, C. W.Mort, D. L.Wigg, George
Glanville, JamesMoyle, A.Wilkins, W. A.
Gooch, E. G.Malley, F. W.Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Murray, J. D.Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Greenwood, Anthony (Rossandale)Nally, W.Williams, David (Neath)
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Wakefield)Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon P. J.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.O'Brien, T.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Grey, C. F.Oliver, G. H.Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Oswald, T.Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Padley, W. E.Wilson, Rt. Hon Harold (Huyton)
Griffiths, William (Exchange)Paget, R. T.Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Grimond, J.Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Wyatt, W. L.
Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Pannell, CharlesYates, V. F.
Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Pargiter, G. A.Younger, Rt. Hon K.
Hamilton, W. W.Parker, J.
Hardy, E. A.Peart, T. F.Mr. Pearson and Mr. Holmes
Hargreaves, A.Plummer, Sir Leslie


Aitken, W. T.Gage, C. H.MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Alport, C. J. M.Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Gammans, L. D.Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Garner-Evans, E. H.Maitland, Comdr J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.George, Rt. Hon. Maj G. LloydMaitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Arbuthnot, JohnGlyn, Sir RalphMarkham, Major S. F.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Godber, J. B.Marlowe, A. A. H.
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)Gomme-Duncan, Col A.Marples, A. E.
Baker, P. A. D.Gough, C. F. H.Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Gower, H. R.Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)
Baldwin, A. E.Graham, Sir FergusMaude, Angus
Banks, Col. C.Gridley, Sir ArnoldMaudling, R.
Barber, A. P. L.Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr S. L. C.
Baxter, A. B.Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Medlicott, Brig. F.
Beach, Major HicksHarden, J. R. E.Mellor, Sir John
Beamish, Maj. TuftonHare, Han. J. H.Molson, A. H. E.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Harris, Reader (Heston)Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Harvey, Air Cdre A V. (Macclesfield)Mott-Ratclyffe, C. E.
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Nabarro, G. D. N.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Harvey-Watt, Sir GeorgeNicholls, Harmar
Bennett, William (Woodside)Hay, JohnNicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Birch, NigelHead, Rt. Hon. A. H.Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Bishop, F. P.Heald, Sir LionelNield, Basil (Chester)
Black, C. W.Heath, EdwardNoble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Boothby, R. J. G.Henderson, John (Cathcart)Nugent, G. R. H.
Bossom, A. C.Higgs, J. M. C.Nutting, Anthony
Bowen, E. R.Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Oakshott, H. D.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)Odey, G. W.
Boyle, Sir EdwardHinchengbrooke, ViscountO'Neill, Rt, Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.)
Brains, B. R.Hirst, GeoffreyOrmsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Holland-Martin, C. J.Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)Hollis, M. C.Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)Osborne, C.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Hope, Lord JohnPartridge, E.
Brooman-White, R. C.Hopkinson, HenryPeake, Rt. Hon. O.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Perkins, W. R. D.
Bullard, D. G.Horobin, I. M.Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Bullock, Capt. M.Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. FlorencePeyton, J. W. W.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Burden, F. F. A.Howard, Greville (St. Ives)Pitman, I. J.
Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)Powell, J. Enoch
Carson, Hon. E.Hurd, A. R.Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Cary, Sir RobertHutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Channon, H.Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)Profumo, J. D.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.Hutchison, James (Scotstoun)Raikes, H. V.
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.Rayner, Brig. R.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)Redmayne, E.
Cole, NormanJennings, R.Remnant, Hon. P.
Colegate, W. A.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Renton, D. L. M.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)Roberts, Peter (Heeley)
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertJones, A. (Hall Green)Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Cooper-Key, E. M.Keeling, Sir EdwardRobson-Brown, W.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Cranborne, ViscountLambert, Hon. G.Roper, Sir Harold
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. G.Lambton, ViscountRopner, Col. Sir Leonard
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Lancaster, Col. C. G.Russell, R. S.
Crowder, John E. (Finchley)Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)Leather, E. H. C.Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Cuthbert, W. N.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Sandys, Rt. Hon D.
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)Schofield, Lt.-Col W. (Rochdale)
Davidson, ViscountessLennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.Scott, R. Donald
Deedes, W. F.Lindsay, MartinScott-Miller, Cmdr R.
Digby, S. Wingfield
Dodds-Parker, A. D.Linstead, H. N.Shepherd, William
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.Llewellyn, D. T.Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Donner, P. W.Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Drewe, C.Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)
Duthie, W. S.Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)Snadden, M. McN.
Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.Low, A. R. W.Soames, Capt. C.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Spearman, A. C. M.
Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Lucas, P. B. (Brantford)Speir, R. M.
Erroll, F. J.Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughSpence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Fell, A.Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Finlay, Graeme.McAdden, S. J.Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Fisher, NigelMcCallum, Major D.Stevens, G. P.
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Fletcher-Cooke, C.Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Fort, R.Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Foster, JohnMcKie, J. H. (Galloway)Storey, S.
Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)Maclean, FitzroyStrauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)

Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)Tilney, JohnWebbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Studholme, H. G.Touche, G. C.Wellwood, W.
Summers, G. S.Turner, H. F. L.White, Baker (Canterbury)
Sutcliffe, H.Turton, R. H.Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)Tweedsmuir, LadyWilliams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)Vane, W. M. F.Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Teeling, W.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)Vosper, D. F.Wills, G.
Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)Walker-Smith, D. C.Wood, Hon. R.
Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)York, C.
Thorneycroft, R. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.Watkinson, H. A.TELLERS TOR THE NOES:
Mr. Butcher and Mr. Kaberrs.

Amendment proposed: In page 1, line 9, at end, insert:

(2) No chemist shall be required to determine the amount of any charge under this section.—[Dr. Stross.]

Division No. 83.]


[9.7 p.m.

Acland, Sir RichardDelargy, H. J.Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)
Adams, RichardDonnelly, D. L.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Albu, A. H.Driberg, T. E. N.Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.
Allen, Arthur (Bosworth)Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)Jeger, George (Goole)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Jeger, Dr. Santo (St. Pancras, S.)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Edelman, M.Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Edwards, John (Brighouse)Johnson, James (Rugby)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R.Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Awbery, S. S.Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Bacon, Miss AliceEvans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S)
Baird, J.Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Balfour, A.Ewart, R.Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Fernyhough, E.Keenan, W.
Bence, C. R.Field, W. J.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Benn, WedgwoodFienburgh, W.King, Dr. H. M.
Benson, G.Finch, H. J.Lee, Frederick (Newton)
Beswick, F.Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Follick, M.Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Bing, G. H. C.Foot, M. M.Lewis, Arthur
Blackburn, F.Forman, J. C.Lindgren, G. S.
Blenkinsop, A.Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Logan, D. G.
Blyton, W. R.Freeman, Peter (Newport)MacColl, J. E.
Boardman, H.Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.McGhee, H. G.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.Gibson, C. W.McInnes, J.
Bowden, H. W.Glanville, JamesMcKay, John (Wallsend)
Bowen, E. R.Gooch, E. G.McLeavy, F.
Bowles, F. G.Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethGreenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Brockway, A. F.Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur (Wakefield)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax)Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.Mainwaring, W. H.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Grey, C. F.Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mann, Mrs. Jean
Burke, W. A.Griffiths, William (Exchange)Manuel, A. C.
Burton, Miss F. E.Grimond, J.Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S)Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Mayhew, C. P.
Callaghan, L. J.Hall, Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Mellish, R. J.
Carmichael, J.Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Messer, F.
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Hamilton, W. W.Mikardo, Ian
Champion, A. J.Hannan, W.Mitchison, G. R.
Chapman, W. D.Hardy, E. A.Monslow, W.
Chetwynd, G. R.Hargreaves, A.Moody, A. S.
Clunie, J.Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
Cocks, F. S.Hastings, S.Morley, R.
Coldrick, W.Hayman, F. H.Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Collick, P. H.Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Cook, T. F.Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)Mort, D. L.
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHerbison, Miss M.Moyle, A.
Cove, W. G.Hewitson, Capt. M.Mulley, F. W.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Hobson, C. R.Murray, J. D.
Crosland, C. A. R.Holman, P.Nally, W.
Crossman, R. H. S.Houghton, DouglasNoel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Cullen, Mrs. A.Hoy, J. H.O'Brien, T.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Hubbard, T. F.Oliver, G. H.
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Oswald, T.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Padley, W. E.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Paget, R. T.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Hynd, H. (Accrington)Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
de Freitas, GeoffreyHynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Deer, G.Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Pannell, Charles

Question put, "The those words be there inserted."

The committee divided: Ayes, 265; Noes, 283.

Pargiter, G. A.Shurmer, P. L. E.Viant, S. P.
Parker, J.Silverman, Julius (Erdigton)Wallace, H. W.
Paton, J.Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)Watkins, T. E.
Peart, T. F.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Plummer, Sir LeslieSmith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Popplewell, E.Snow, J. W.Wells, William (Walsall)
Porter, G.Sorensen, R. W.West, D. G.
Price, Joseph T. (Westboughton)Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir FrankWheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W)Sparks, J. A.White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Proctor, W. T.Steele, T.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Pryde, D. J.Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Pursey, Cmdr. H.Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.Wigg, George
Rankin, JohnStrachey, Rt. Hon. J.Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Reeves, J.Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)Wilkins, W. A.
Reid, Thomas (Swindon)Stress, Dr. BarnettWilley, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Reid, William (Camlachie)Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Rhodes, H.Swingler, S. T.Williams, David (Neath)
Richards, R.Sylvester, G. O.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Robens, Rt. Hon. A.Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Taylor, John (West Lothian)Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)Thomas, David (Aberdare)Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Ross, WilliamThomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W)Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Royle, C.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Schofield, S. (Barnsley)Thurtle, ErnestWyatt, W. L.
Shackleton, E. A. A.Timmons, J.Yates, V. F.
Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir HartleyTomney, F.Younger, Rt Hon K.
Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.Turner-Samuels, M.
Short, E. W.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir LynnTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Pearson and Mr. Holmes.


Aitken, W. T.Cooper-Key, E. M.Hay, John
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.
Alport, C. J. M.Cranborne, ViscountHeald, Sir Lionel
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Heath, Edward
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.Crowder, John E. (Finchley)Higgs, J. M. C.
Arbuthnot, JohnCrowder, Petro (Ruislip—Northwood)Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Cuthbert, W. N.Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Baker, P. A. D.Davidson, ViscountessHirst, Geoffrey
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Deedes, W. F.Holland-Martin, C. J.
Baldwin, A E.Digby, S. WingfieldHollis, M. C.
Banks, Col. C.Dodds-Parker, A. D.Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)
Barber, A. P. L.Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.Hope, Lord John
Baxter, A. B.Donner, P. W.Hopkinson, Henry
Beach, Maj. HicksDrewe, C.Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Beamish, Maj. TuftonDuncan, Capt. J. A. L.Horobin, I. M.
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Duthie, W. S.Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Eccles, Rt. Hon D. M.Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Howard, Greville (St. Ives)
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Erroll, F. J.Hurd, A. R.
Bennett, William (Woodside)Fell, A.Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)
Birch, NigelFinlay, GraemeHutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Bishop, F. P.Fisher, NigelHutchison, James (Scotstoun)
Black, C. W.Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.
Boothby, R. J. G.Fletcher-Cooke, C.Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)
Bossom, A. C.Fort, R.Jennings, R.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Foster, JohnJohnson, Eric (Blackley)
Boyle, Sir EdwardFraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)Johnson, Howard (Kemptown)
Braine, B. R.Gage, C. H.Jones, A. (Hall Green)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)Kaberry, D.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Keeling, Sir Edward
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Gammans, L. D.Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Garner-Evans, E. H.Lambert, Hon. G.
Brooman-White, R. C.George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. LloydLambton, Viscount
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Glyn, Sir RalphLancaster, Col. C. G.
Bullard, D. G.Godber, J. B.Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Bullock, Capt. M.Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Leather, E. H. C.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Gough, C. F. H.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Burden, F. F. A.Gower, H. R.Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)
Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Graham, Sir FergusLennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.
Carson, Hon. E.Gridley, Sir ArnoldLindsay, Martin
Cary, Sir RobertGrimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Linstead, H. N.
Channon, H.Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Llewellyn, D. T.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S.Harden, J. R. E.Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Hare, Hon. J. H.Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Harris, Reader (Heston)Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Cole, NormanHarrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)
Colegate, W. A.Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)Low, A. R. W.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertHarvie-Watt, Sir GeorgeLucas, P. B. (Brentford)

Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughPartridge, E.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.Peaks, Rt. Hon. O.Storey, S.
McAdden, S. J.Perkins, W. R. D.Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
McCallum, Major D.Peto, Brig. C. H. M.Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Peyton, J. W. W.Summers, G. S.
Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)Pilkington, Capt. R. A.Sutcliffe, H.
Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Pitman, I. J.Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
McKie, J. H. (Galloway)Powell, J. EnochTaylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Maclean, FitzroyPrice, Henry (Lewisham, W.)Teeling, W.
MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)Profumo, J. D.Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)Raikes, H. V.Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)Rayner, Brig. R.Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W)
Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)Redmayne, E.Thorneycroft, R. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)Remnant, Hon. P.Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Markham, Major S. F.Renton, D. L. M.Tilley, John
Marlowe, A. A. H.Roberts, Peter (Healey)Touche, G. C.
Marples, A. E.Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)Turner, H. F. L.
Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)Robson-Brown, W.Turton, R. H.
Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)Tweedsmuir, Lady
Maude, AngusRoper, Sir HaroldVane, W. M. F.
Maudling, R.Ropner, Col. Sir LeonardVaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Russell, R. S.Vesper, D. F.
Medlicott, Brig, F.Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W)
Mellor, Sir JohnSalter, Rt. Hon. Sir ArthurWalker-Smith, D. C.
Molson, A. H. E.Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir WalterSchofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Morrison, John (Salisbury)Scott, R. DonaldWatkinson, H. A.
Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.Webbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Nabarro, G. D. N.Shepherd, WilliamWellwood, W.
Nicholls, HarmarSmiles, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterWhite, Baker (Canterbury)
Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)Smithers, Peter (Winchester)Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Nield, Basil (Chester)Smyth, Brig. J. G. (Norwood)Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.Snadden, W. McN.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Nugent, G. R. H.Soames, Capt. C.Wills, G.
Nutting, AnthonySpearman, A. C. M.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Oakshott, H. D.Speir, R. M.Wood, Hon. R.
Odey, G. W.Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)York, C.
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N)Spens, Sir Patrick (Kensington, S.)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.Stanley, Capt. Hon. RichardTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Orr, Capt. L. P. S.Stevens, G. P.Mr. Butcher and
Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)Mr. Kaberry.
Osborne, C.Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 9, at the end, to insert:

(2) No hospital management committee, board of management or board of governors shall be required to make or recover any charge under this section.
This is a very important Amendment, because it goes to the root of the whole question of charges to be made for prescriptions and surgical appliances in the hospital out-patients departments. I am very sorry indeed that the hon. Lady the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health is not in her place, because I have one or two things to say and I cannot postpone them. She will have to read them later on.

I have listened to the debate up to now and have heard at least four hon. Gentlemen who are members of the medical profession putting forward and supporting Amendments and hoping for a reasoned and sensible reply to arguments which were based upon their intimate knowledge of their profession. When she came to reply the hon. Lady showed her complete ignorance of the whole process of hospitalisation and everything in relation to it. What I wanted her to hear me say was that while it might be all right to stand before the microphone at Broadcasting House to make party political broadcasts and be flattered by those sections of the Conservative Party who listen to her—

On a point of order. Is what the hon. Lady is saying within the limits of the Amendment?

I was hoping that the hon. Lady was about to come to the Amendment now before us.

I am about to come to that, but before making my case, which will be a serious one, I think I am entitled to draw attention to the fact that up to the moment the Parliamentary Secretary has been completely unable to make any reasoned reply to explain why my hon. Friend's Amendments should not be accepted. I was saying that it is very easy to stand in front of a microphone at Broadcasting House and make party political broadcasts, but it is not so easy to get away with ignorance in this Committee as it is over the microphone to the country at large. On an important matter of this sort the country expects Ministers to have some knowledge of the subject being discussed, and to be able sensibly and reasonably to reply to whatever criticisms may be made.

I was hoping that the hon. Lady would be here, because I intend to tell the Committee why this Amendment has been put down. I am sure she ought to be informed of the process involved in the outpatient and in-patient treatment in our hospitals, because until she knows that she will be quite incapable of making any sensible contribution to our discussions.

This is what happens. A person is, for some reason or another, admitted to hospital on the medical note of their doctor or at the request of one of the specialists in the service. They remain in hospital undergoing treatment for some time. To a very large extent, we are unable to supply beds for needy patients, and doctors have to discharge patients from hospitals, and particularly from maternity units, far sooner than they ought to for the good of the patient. That is because there are such long waiting lists and the beds are urgently required for other cases.

Because of that, there are out-patients departments to continue the treatment and attention, first, for those discharged from in-patient accommodation who need continuation of the treatment; secondly, for those whom the medical profession think can be prevented from occupying hospital beds, and so saving the service the weekly cost of maintenance charges, which are very high at the moment; thirdly, they are very often used because people are unable to receive in-patient treatment for the time that it is necessary, and in order to prevent an increase in the growth of the disease, whatever it may be, the doctor sends the patient to the out-patient department where he considers out-patient treatment to be necessary.

This happens in almost every hospital under the control of the Health Service. Where the hospital has not got an accredited out-patient department, it makes emergency arrangements so that its patients can continue to visit the same doctor or specialist at the intervals at which the doctor or specialist desires to see them. For example, in maternity cases, in order to save the woman going to the doctor for her medicines, after she has been to the ante-natal clinic, the ante-natal clinic departments supply the necessary medicines. That prevents a woman in that condition travelling to the ante-natal clinic, getting a prescription and then travelling back to her doctor to get the medicine.

If the Minister makes inquiries, I think he will find that in almost every antenatal clinic throughout the country the women who attend, rather than being referred back again to their family doctors or medical practitioners, are supplied with the necessary drugs and medicines in order to save them dragging themselves about from one place to another. I think that is the most extensive service in which medicines and drugs are issued.

I listened to the hon. Lady when she made her last reply, and I thought that she made a most appalling statement. She said that no charge would be made for medicines or injections that were taken on the premises. I can visualise a lot of patients lining up, with nurses pouring teaspoonsful of medicine down their throats in order to prevent them having to pay 1s. for their prescriptions and having to have them dispensed outside.

This business is getting into the most complete muddle. By the time the Minister reads the whole of that the debates and the points put forward from this side of the Committee—because there has been a great deficiency either of criticisms or helpful suggestions from the other side of the Committee during this debate—and when he comes to look at the administrative details required to put this scheme into operation, I think he will find, as did my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) when he was Minister of Health, that it was completely impossible to administer.

Let me put to the Minister one or two really serious points in relation to this matter. When my own Government was in control I took strong exception to the imposition of charges of any sort under the National Health Scheme. I made a very strong statement to my own Minister in relation to that matter, and I am making just as strong, or perhaps a little stronger, statement to the present Government, that I have no intention of suggesting to any member of the community that these charges ought to be put into operation or that they are in any way administratively possible.

The reason I take such a strong exception to this—and I am speaking not only for myself but for many thousands of people—is that if this scheme is going to be administratively possible very detailed arrangements must be made. In one of her replies last night the hon. Lady said that it would be quite easy for a person in receipt of National Assistance to recover the cost of the medicine he or she needed.

That means that some special adminisstrative arrangements must be made immediately, so that the person in receipt of National Assistance can obtain a receipt from the chemist, the hospital, the out-patients' clinic or the tuberculosis department, whichever is the appropriate department, and that department must have an administrative officer to write upon that receipt the name and the National Health number of the patient concerned. Otherwise, anybody can say, "I am in receipt of National Assistance."and nobody can prove that he or she is not. If an ordinary receipt is given it opens up immediately the possibility—and the Government are really asking for it—of all sorts of abuses in relation to the reclaiming of the 1s. paid by a person for the medicine he or she needs.

9.30 p.m.

What is to prevent anyone getting a prescription from a doctor or hospital or chemist, paying 1s. for it, and saying, "I am in receipt of National Assistance"? I deprecate the need for any individual in this country at this time in the century having to say that to any official under any circumstances whatsoever. But if this scheme is to be put into operation that must be done.

If a person in need of a prescription has to pay 1s. to the chemist and say, "I am in receipt of National Assistance, I need a special receipt," can we estimate the number of receipts which would have to be supplied to every chemist, every hospital and every out-patients' department and can we estimate the amount of administrative work that will be involved every time a patient says, "I am in receipt of National Assistance, I want a receipt for the money I have paid over, so that I can have it refunded"?

If we do not have the patient's name and National Health number on the receipt, we may say, "We will put his pension book number on it." The Parliamentary Secretary said, "All they have to do is to take their pension book to the post office and have their money refunded." Is the post office to be put into the difficulty of looking up the name and number on the receipt which a person has had to wait for at a chemist's shop in order that it may be checked up with the pension book, if it is a person who is in receipt of National Assistance and requires the 1s. refunded?

Imagine the terrific administrative details which will have to be dealt with in relation to this matter. It is not worth the amount of money which the Government are expecting to get back. It is much easier to deal with the position as it was dealt with before. I believe that if the Minister inquired of the civil servants who considered this matter before, he would be told that that was one of the specific reasons put to my right hon. Friend the Member for Ebbw Vale—that the administrative difficulties in relation to this scheme were so tremendous that it was not worth the trouble of doing it.

This procedure will have to apply in every out-patient department of every hospital. The Minister said last night, when we were discussing this matter, that the number of patients in each hospital requiring a prescription would be very small. If it is very small, is that not all the more reason why it would be foolish to designate a person to do that specific job? I do not think that it would be possible to designate only one person, because hospital out-patient departments are open for 24 hours. We cannot estimate the number of people who attend out-patient departments for accidents.

Is the Minister suggesting that if a person has an accident in the street, is taken to an out-patient department, is attended to by a doctor and either stitched up or plastered up or has some other attention given to him, and the doctor says, "I must give you a prescription because you need a particular type of sedative so that you can settle down before you attend this clinic or another clinic tomorrow"—is that doctor to put the sedative down the patient's throat in order that the patient will not have to pay for it and so that it can be technically said that it has been administered on the hospital premises? But the accident might have happened at night. The patient might be able to go home and might not need to be put into a casualty bed. The doctor might say, "You have had a shock, but we do not want to keep you here. We will send you home in an ambulance and during the night you must take a prescription."

This is where the last Amendment very definitely comes in, because the doctor may be the only one in the casualty department or the others there may be heavily engaged with casualties. If he then dispenses the prescription himself, has he to take the shilling or has he to say to the patient, "Are you in receipt of National Assistance? Can you afford the shilling?"

What happens if the person who is knocked down has not a cent on him? Who chases round to collect the shillings which have not been collected in the outpatients' departments? I am only talking about the sort of things that may actually happen.

I am sorry to interrupt the most interesting speech which the hon. Lady is making, but the Amendment is on a very narrow point. It does not really deal with the matters about which she is speaking, interesting though they are. It deals with whether or not hospital managements committees and so on should be entitled to recover charges.

As I interpret the Amendment, the hon. Lady is quite right in making her case, as she believes it, on the inadvisability from her point of view of hospital management committees having to make a charge.

Thank you. Mr. Thomas; I will continue. I believe that what I am saying is completely relevant, and if the Minister interferes and says it is not, I must tell him that he is in as much ignorance as is his Parliamentary Secretary. It is mainly because I know that there is such a terrific amount of ignorance in relation to this matter on the Government Front Bench and among those who are responsible for dealing with the Bill that I find it necessary to go into so much detail.

To take my case a little further, management committees and boards of governors have already had from the Minister a circular asking them to go into administrative details for the collection of this money. The circular does not say that a nurse or a doctor cannot be asked to do it, or that a clerk should be designated to do it, or that three eight-hour periods should be fixed—

Does my hon. Friend state that a circular has been sent out from the Minister before the Bill has been passed?

A circular has been sent to every management committee. [HON. MEMBERS: "Shame."] I should like the Minister to produce the circular. It has been before every management committee or board of governors so that advice may be given to officials on how those bodies desire this to be done. The Minister ought to read the circular to us when he replies so that we know exactly what has happened. I mentioned this to the Minister when I had a word with him about the situation, so he knew that I should refer to it.

I am only an ordinary member of a management committee. Copies have not been sent to every member of management committees, but only to the secretaries. I do not think I am under any obligation to produce it. It is not my circular; it is the Minister's circular. He should be the one to produce it and read it so that we can see what the situation is.

On a point of order. It is of supreme importance and interest to the Committee at this stage of the debate, in view of the statement of my hon. Friend, that the Ministry should state categorically whether or not such a circular has been distributed from his Department to the hospitals and, if so, that the circular should be read to the Committee.

That is not a point of order. The Minister will be speaking, if he so desires, in the course of the debate.

This circular must be within the knowledge of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite, because many of them are Members of management committees and boards of governors, and if they have no knowledge of it, quite obviously they are not doing the job for which the Minister appointed them because, they are not attending their Committees.

The hon. Lady is wrong. My right hon. Friend has not appointed a single member on this side of the Committee to any management committee.

—of people on the other side of the Committee is amazing. I get more staggered by it as the weeks go by.

The Minister does not appoint members of management committees or members of regional boards, but he appoints members of boards of governors.

The hon. and gallant Gentleman ought to know, and if he wants me to go into a full statement of how regional boards, boards of governors, management committees, house committees, specialist committees, and so on are appointed, I am quite prepared to do so.

I think I can save the hon. Lady that trouble. It would be out of order.

I quite agree with you, Mr. Thomas, but these interjections of ignorance provoke one to use what knowledge one has to enlighten some of the very dull Members which we have on the opposite side of this Committee.

This circular requests committees to produce an administrative scheme so that the collection of the shillings and the amounts for the appliances can be put into operation. Up to now all I have seen is a circular, but I know what has been in the circular, and I expect at the next meeting of my management committee I will have some indication of the steps that that particular committee is going to take to administer the scheme.

What I am trying to point out to the Minister is that if the Government proceed with this Bill, then the right hon. Gentleman cannot leave it to individual administrators or to each individual outpatient department of the hospital service. It will be a State receipt which will be issued, and it will have to be something that will be legal at post offices throughout the country. It will have to be easily discernible, and something which a person can use to recover his or her money if he or she is away from the area in which they live.

Let us get this thing in complete order, because it is so terribly important. If a person is away from home he will get a prescription and a receipt, but according to the Parliamentary Secretary that person can only obtain the 1s. back again from the post office at which he draws his supplementary pension. That means there has got to be a national receipt which covers every section of the service so that an official receipt will be used. It will have to be a receipt that has definitely been issued by the Minister of Health, and receipt which will enable a person to reclaim the money for a prescription if he is getting National Assistance. The National Assistance Board will have to give the House at some time in its accounts an assessment of the amount of its receipts and the amount of shillings it pays out on top of its ordinary National Assistance to people who reclaim the shilling for a prescription.

9.45 p.m.

Because this is so far-reaching, let me put another case of a person who goes to an out-patients' department and gets a prescription and has to get it refunded. What about the person who is not in receipt of National Assistance? What about the person who has only a 30s. pension, because he is living with relatives, because he is paying no rent. I speak from experience. I kept my father at my home for 10 years without a halfpenny except his pension. He died at 83. He had no National Assistance. There must be any amount of cases of that sort. How will they reclaim their shilling? Are they to pay that shilling out of the 30s. pension? If they attend a hospital and continue through the outpatients' department to get their prescription and require to have it returned at the post office, no provision has been made.

We had progressed so far in the welfare state. We had taught people that they could get their pensions, whether supplementary or State pension for which they pay, through the Post Office on a book so that the person next to them would not know whether they were getting supplementation or not. It is a most degrading thing, one of the lowest things a Tory Minister could do in relation to national health, once again to make it necessary for a person in receipt of National Assistance, in order to get a receipt for his shilling prescription from the out-patient department, to have to say to the doctor or the dispenser or the clerk or the nurse or the sister, "Please give me an official receipt with my name and National Health number on it. I am in receipt of supplementation from the Assistance Board and the only way I can get my shilling returned is to produce the official receipt which the Ministry of Health say I must have to supply to the post office at which I draw my pension."

To what depths have we sunk in relation to this matter. It is appalling. The Minister may laugh. I hope he will never be in the position of having to do that sort of thing. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I would not wish it on one or two of the people on the other side of the Committee whom I would choke at any time I had the opportunity of so doing.

We shall find another tendency. The medical profession has been making efforts, more so since this scheme started, to get a quick turnover of beds so that all those people who need medical attention in the hospitals can get it as quickly as possible. The doctors will say that rather than go to all the administrative trouble necessary to issue a prescription and a receipt where necessary, they will keep the patient in for an extra couple of weeks to continue or finish the treatment they require instead of giving them continuation treatment in the out-patient department. That would add to the hospital costs and to the Health Service costs many times more than the £250,000 that the Minister anticipates saving.

The Amendment can be quite easily dealt with. It would save time and difficulty, and it would place, as the Minister is entitled to be able to do, on the specialist and medical profession the responsibility of deciding whether a person needs to continue attending at an out-patient department and needs to continue being prescribed for medicines through that department. That whole lot could be cut out, and the Minister would save all the vast amount of administration that his permanent officials will tell him would be necessary, if he accepts the Amendment and gives to the medical profession the trust that we have given them up to the present, by saying that if they find it necessary a person can be discharged from hospital because the bed is needed for someone much more critically ill.

If that patient can be discharged and can continue to be treated and dispensed for through the out-patient departments in the hospitals controlled by the management committees and boards of governors; if bed accommodation for inpatients can be saved by referring someone to an out-patient department instead of being put into a bed, so that he can get his prescriptions through that department; if the Minister continues to say this and to put the trust in the medical profession, I am certain that the saving to the Service generally would be very much more than the £250,000 that he anticipates collecting from these charges.

The hon. Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain MacLeod), who sent me the postcard, has been waiting desperately to say that I made a statement on the Bill in 1949 but that when it came to the Division I voted with my party. Because this has been stated on the public platform, the hon. Member ought to have followed up his statement by saying that the reason I so voted was because my party and Government made a concession in relation to the charges. They said that they would reconsider them in 1954. That concession, I agree, was hard wrung out, but it was wrung out.

I have been generous to the hon. Lady in the last few moments, because while she may feel deeply on this question, it has nothing to do with the Amendment.

I quite agree, Mr. Thomas, but I could not resist the opportunity.

I hope that the points I have put to the Minister will be carefully considered. I should like him tonight to be able to say that a case has been made out for including the Amendment in the Bill and that no charge shall be made for dispensing medicines through out-patient departments to people who go there, instead of going into hospital, for continuation treatment, or who are released from hospital and continue treatment. I am certain that if the Minister does this, he will find that the very great administrative responsibilities which otherwise would be entailed to the hospital management committees in administering the scheme—and the Estimates have been cut so fine that it will not be possible, even if it is necessary, to take on extra staff to deal with this administration—will be very much reduced.

I hope sincerely that the Minister will accept the Amendment and will exclude from the payment in respect of drugs and medicines those people who attend outpatient departments of various hospitals under the different sections of the Health Scheme. I assure him that by so doing, bad though his administrative difficulties will be in the way of administration through the medical profession and the Post Office, he will, at any rate, relieve the hospital management committees, the staffs, doctors, nurses and out-patient departments, of the very extra responsibility of collecting a few paltry shillings from patients who attend out-patient departments.

I have listened, very attentively of course, to the speech of the hon. Lady, and I am much indebted because she has brought out a number of points worthy of study, which will be studied. But we are dealing with a very narrow Amendment and, of course, it is a wrecking Amendment, because the Committee have already accepted subsection (1) of this Clause, which says:

"regulations may provide for the making and recovery,"
of charges.

The hon. Lady proposes instead of that to insert a decision that:
"No hospital management committee, board of management or board of governors shall be required"
to make any charges under this scheme. But they are the only people who could set in motion the making or recovery of charges and, therefore, the Amendment would contradict what we have done in the last few days.

This Clause is only an empowering Clause. The effective action will be taken by regulation, as was done on the much wider issue—the prescription issue—in the Measure of the Labour Government which was enacted. This Clause is to bring the hospital section of the problem into line with what is already on the Statute Book, and when this Clause is passed and the Bill becomes an Act there will be power under this Measure to make similar regulations mutatis mutandis to those empowered in the original Act.

Under subsection (1) we have already granted that, and the only question I have to answer—as I say, I will note what the hon. Lady has said—is to deal with the actual Amendment, which says:
No hospital management committee, board of management or board of governors shall be required to make or recover any charge under this section.
If charges are to be made, of course one or other of those bodies are the people to deal with them; there is nobody else so far as the hospital world is concerned. One or other of these bodies according to different circumstances, will be concerned with the making and recovery of charges, and it will be in the regulations. That is the place to lay down in each particular case the particular authority to do this work.

Broadly speaking, it will be the hospital management committee which will be responsible for the making of the charges. I know that the hon. Lady does not want them to collect, but this Amendment poses the question, supposing there are to be charges, who is to collect them?

10.0 p.m.

If the right hon. Gentleman accepts this Amendment, it pre-supposes, not there will be nobody to collect, but that they will have no opportunity of collecting.

Exactly. It is entirely a wrecking Amendment, and for that reason I ask the Committee to reject it.

Would the right hon. Gentleman meet us on the point made by my hon. Friend with reference to the circular? I must make it plain I do not think it was necessarily irregular; I think it would be quite often the case that instructions might be sent out saying, in the event of an enactment taking place, that these administrative arrangements should be made. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman will agree, however, that he would not want to leave the Committee at any disadvantage compared with a management committee or a board of governors or a regional committee.

It would be very interesting because this dilemma which my hon. Friend has presented to the Minister is very real. Anyone who has ever been in an outpatient's department, either as a patient or having some administrative responsibility knows that the pace of an outpatients' department is frequently conditional on the clerical work which can be carried through. I will not strain the patience of the Committee by recalling what actually happens but it is a very difficult job to ensure that the records are kept coincidentally with the presentation of the patients.

Who is the right hon. Gentleman expecting to be designated by the board of management to do this further clerical job? As the hon. Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) says, how is it to be done? Must the patient have with him or her a ration book, an Assistance Board book—

I am wondering what is the position. I thought the Minister was in possession of the Floor, and now the right hon. Gentleman is making a statement.

I did not think so. I thought that for the moment the Minister had concluded his speech.

The right hon. Gentleman had asked a question and I was going to answer it.

Perhaps I can explain my anxiety to see this circular and have explained the procedure which the right hon. Gentleman anticipates will follow from it should the Committee and the House enact in the fashion proposed. Is a patient to present himself at the outpatients' department of a hospital and satisfy the authorities there not that he is ill or sick or crippled but that he has a number in his pocket? Otherwise we shall have a black market traffic in these receipts. Some kind of number or identification must be placed on a receipt, or we are putting a premium on this business. For example, let us imagine that I am carrying a pension book and that here are my right hon. and hon. Friends, none of whom carries a book, but who all need prescriptions. It is a great temptation to me, being already in receipt of Assistance, to have a little "side business" with the receipts.

I assume that the right hon. Gentleman has looked at that and that it will not happen, but that there will be some identification, presumably by a number of some kind on the receipt. But is a poor, aged sick woman, coming to an out-patients' department to be sent home without a prescription because she has not a shilling, or because she cannot identify herself? What is to happen to a man carried in, having had a minor injury late at night? That sometimes happens, even to hon. Members of this House. The man in the casualty department says to him, "You had better have a sedative." Are we really expecting the injured man to provide a number in those circumstances?

On a point of order. We were listening to a speech by the Minister of Health. In 20 years' experience of this House, I cannot recall a previous occasion when a right hon. Gentleman has not only interrupted a Minister of the Crown but has proceeded to speak at length.

I have only just come into the Committee. That is why I asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was in possession of the Floor. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman speaking from the Opposition Front Benches was asking a question. If the Minister has concluded his speech, then the right hon. Gentleman is in order.

I do not want to embarrass anyone. I have a number of points to put. If the hon. Gentleman thinks that his right hon. Friend is being disadvantaged, of course I will give way; but if the hon. Gentleman comes into the Committee at this time of night because he has nothing else to do, he had better be quiet and not criticise the behaviour of people who have been trying to improve this Bill for a long time.

If right hon. and hon. Member will address the Chair instead of one another, it will be better.

I think that it is still competent for me to say to the hon. Gentleman that it is not right for him to come in so late, because he could not go to the picture house or somewhere else, and try to tell this Committee, which has now spent some considerable time on this Bill, how it should conduct its business.

I do not want to be cross with the Minister about this. Whenever he wants to intervene, naturally I will follow Committee procedure and give way. It will be of interest to see how the circular is directed. The right hon. Gentleman has trailed himself round with the crutch that the proposal in this Bill was one which a previous Government introduced, but even if that crutch is of great comfort to him, that Measure does not cover the out-patients at all; it only covers drugs.

This question goes much further and will inflict perhaps greater hardship. It is a distinct extension. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will also tell us how he means to separate the drugs which are obtained by prescription from drugs administered on the premises. We have discussed this question before. We have had a kind of assurance on it. It is fairly difficult to understand, though I have no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to inform us upon it.

Finally, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if it is a fair assumption that he has reason to believe that there are abuses in the out-patients' departments? It is difficult to believe that there are, and it is unfair to a noble profession, and the higher ranks of a noble profession, to leave unquestioned any inference that that is so. The right hon. Gentleman admitted to us at an earlier stage that he had no evidence of abuse of another kind, although he had heard it said that there was. Unless he has any evidence, he must make it plain that there is no abuse here and that he is satisfied that these ladies and gentlemen are discharging their professional obligations in the normal economic and efficient way, and that this is only a fiscal device which has nothing at all to do with the issue of drugs and medicines.

I have listened to the argument put forward by the Minister of Health. At one stage I thought of asking leave to move to report Progress to give the right hon. Gentleman the chance of having a look at an out-patients' department in a hospital. I think that the Committee is taking a rather unfortunate advantage of his complete lack of knowledge of this aspect of hospital organisation. I think that there is a general sympathy on this side of the Committee for the right hon. Gentleman in the fact that he really does not know what a hospital out-patients' department is like, has no experience how it works and has little or no experience of the type of people using it.

The right hon. Gentleman, in his remarks, described this as a wrecking Amendment. I do not know whether that is a reflection on the Chair or not, but I am sure that the Chair would not have thought of calling an Amendment which it considered to be a wrecking Amendment. I think that, as my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) has quite rightly said, this is an Amendment of great substance and importance, affecting a very large section of the community, and a very large number of those who use the National Health Service.

The right hon. Gentleman has tried to ride off on the very narrow point that this Amendment was simply dealing with a particular aspect of the Health Service in respect of which the position created by the passing of the 1949 Act was being regularised, but that really does not affect the merits or demerits of this Amendment. It is no answer to the arguments put forward by my hon. Friend, and at no stage in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman did he make a single, concrete intelligent argument in answer to my hon. Friend's very sensible, detailed and documented case.

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will study very carefully what my hon. Friend has said, because she has great experience in the working of the hospital service, and has rendered great service to the hospital management committee on which she serves, and, therefore, has a particularly distinguished record in this respect. I think the right hon. Gentleman should bow to the superior knowledge and contribution which has been made to the Health Service by my hon. Friend, and that he should treat her arguments seriously. We therefore ask him to give some more sensible answer, instead of trying to ride off on a very narrow point.

Let me come now to one or two other points which my hon. Friend did not cover. The problem of hospital outpatients is made considerably worse because of the shortage of hospital beds, which is particularly true in the rural areas and in the areas where hospital building programmes before the war were completely neglected. It is particularly true in Wales, and I remember Questions being asked from time to time by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) about the numbers of people on the waiting lists of hospitals both in Cardiff and in other parts of Wales.

The cause of that difficulty was the neglect of those areas by the right hon. Gentleman and his friends in the years between the wars, and this problem is doubly acute where these hospitals are very short staffed and inadequately serviced. Many people who use outpatients' departments simply do so because the physical limitations of the hospital available in their area renders it necessary for them to go to another hospital in some other area which is better served—like Bournemouth, or some other better-off part of Britain, in which a completely different situation exists, and where it is very much easier for people to get into hospital.

If the Clause is approved as it stands, and if the Amendment is not accepted, those people who live in the areas which the right hon. Gentleman and his friends neglected in the years between the wars will suffer even worse than the people who live in the better-off areas in Britain and who are able to reap the benefits under the National Health Service which their compatriots, perhaps suffering from exactly the same illnesses, are not able to receive. The right hon. Gentleman should really look at this question of inequality as between different parts of Britain. It really is not fair that people who live in areas where there is a bad hospital service should be worse off than those who live in areas where the hospital service is good and who do not have to pay.

The hospital out-patient departments are very extensively used in the rural areas, where people have to make long journeys from villages in remote areas to the centres and market towns, and, when they go to the out-patients' departments, they have to pay fares on buses or other means of transport. Are they going to be doubly penalised through having to pay for the services under this Bill as it stands?

10.15 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends are busy putting up the petrol duty so as to put up the fares of people in rural areas. They are trying to penalise them in every conceivable way, and by resisting this Amendment they are doubly penalising people living in the scattered rural areas, who not only have to pay the extra fares to get to the hospital, but also have to pay the charges because the hospitals in those areas have been neglected in the past.

It affects those people in another way as well. Working people who have to attend the out-patient departments of hospitals have to lose time from work in order to do so. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman understands what that means. I hope he does. I also hope, as my hon. Friend said on an earlier point, that he will never have to lose time from work in order to attend the out-patient department of a hospital. It is unjust that people who have to lose time from work in this way should have extra charges placed upon them in these circumstances.

The right hon. Gentleman in his chop-logic arguments about narrow points has not made a single attempt to answer these human problems which face the people today. Perhaps he does not care; perhaps he does not understand, or, again, perhaps it is because he is simply determined that this Bill shall go through regardless of the wishes of the people and regardless of the difficulties it will create.

I come now to another point. One of the most extensive uses of the outpatients' departments of hospitals in South Wales is by people suffering from pneumoconiosis. The right hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends are busy asking for recruits to the mining industry at the present time. Are they proposing to reward those who have served the mining industry so well in the past by—

I am afraid the hon. Member is going very wide of the Amendment, which only asks that hospital management committees and other bodies shall not be required to recover the charges.

With respect, Mr. Hopkin Morris, I am advised by those who helped my hon. Friend and myself to draft this Amendment that it refers to charges made to people who attend hospital out-patient departments. One of the largest sections of users of these out-patients' departments are members of the mining community.

This Amendment simply says that no hospital management committee, board of management or board of governors shall be required to collect the money.

I am objecting to the collection of the money from people suffering from pneumoconiosis. This is a very real problem. Here we have a great industry on which the whole future of the country depends, and at the present moment we are confronted with the problem of getting more people into the mines. What hope have we of recruiting men to the mining industry if those thinking of entering it have no security regarding what will happen to them if they become disabled? Under these proposals, the people in the mining industry will be put back to the position that obtained before 1910. Is that the way in which the right hon. Gentleman hopes to get recruits to the mines?

On a point of order. Is the hon. Gentleman going to be allowed to go through every possible disease which can affect the human body?

What this Amendment proposes is that the duty of collecting the charges shall not fall upon a particular set of bodies.

Perhaps I may be allowed to continue because I have no intention of entering into an argument with the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Nicholson). Whilst I appreciate his great interest in many other subjects, I do not wish to compare those who have to use the out-patient departments of hospitals with those who drink too much beer. That would be narrowing the argument too much.

I would rather deal with the very real and important problem which affects the whole of South Wales, and although the hon. Member for Farnham is not a Member for South Wales—he never would be for a South Wales constituency for they would not have him—he should realise that this Amendment is very important to sufferers from pneumoconiosis and it is very important that they should not be charged by hospital management committees.

That may be true but it is not relevant to the Amendment, which says that charges shall not be made or collected by certain bodies, no matter where the bodies are.

I am grateful to you, Mr. Hopkin Morris. I do not wish to pursue the point any further. I think the Minister should have been able to grasp it by now.

I will come to the problem which has been troubling me during the whole of the Committee stage of this Bill. In the Library the other day, I came across a publication called "Campaign Guide for 1951" which has a section on the Health Service. I understand it is published by the Conservative Central Office. There was also a "Campaign Guide for 1950" and it is important to note the year because these things change from time to time.

Page 227 of this publication is devoted to so-called Socialist misrepresentation, under the heading "Socialist Misrepresentation Answered." It states:
"Socialist propaganda on health matters invariably contains four flagrant examples of misrepresentation."
It says that one of these misrepresentations is that a Conservative Government would cut the National Health Service. But this Clause, unamended, would cut the Service.

Page 230 of the publication states, under the heading "Conservative Policy on the National Health Service":
"The attitude of a future Conservative Government to the Health Service is made clear in ' This is the road.' We pledge ourselves to maintain and improve the Health Service."
Where will the right hon. Gentleman go if he commits political perjury on behalf of his party in this matter? I should hate to see his photograph appearing on posters under the heading, "Wanted for Political Murder."

I think we should know where we are going because the Minister talked about this being an empowering Clause, and the right hon. Gentleman tried to brush it off as though it were a relatively unimportant matter. I think the Committee ought to know where we are going when we have this kind of political duplicity. We have no faith in people who cannot keep their word to the electorate. We have no faith in statements made by the right hon. Gentleman to this Committee unless we see them on the Statute Book.

My hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange, has made a very strong case on behalf of a very large section of the community who make great use of this Service. This Clause as it stands is despicable and could only have been introduced by this disgusting Government who I hope will be dismissed by a disillusioned electorate.

I do not propose to deal with the discourtesies inherent in the speech of the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly), but I hope I shall be allowed to answer questions put to me. It had slipped my mind, and I apologise to the hon. Lady the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock), but, as has been quite rightly pointed out by a right hon. Gentleman opposite, when there is prospect of legislation or enactment, it frequently happens that the responsible authorities who would have to administer it are taken into consultation beforehand, on the natural assumption that there is nothing binding—it depends whether the Bill becomes an Act or not. It would be very reprehensible if it were the other way round and if an Act were passed which put upon public bodies certain statutory requirements about which they knew nothing.

The circular to which the hon. Lady referred is merely that sort of document, which suggested to recipients that there was before Parliament a Bill as a result of which it was proposed to impose certain charges, and asking whether they would carefully consider what would be the best administrative arrangements within their own sphere. One hospital might want to do the work in one way and another hospital in another way. It merely suggested that they should take advice amongst themselves about what could best be done, and said that if they required any further help and advice from myself or my officers it would be forthcoming. It was the normal sort of circular sent round in the normal course of events when legislation is passing through Parliament. I hope that satisfies the right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Lady who asked me about it, and I am sorry I omitted to mention it in the first place.

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

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

The Committee proceeded to a Division

(seated and covered): On a point of order. I wish to seek your guidance on the appropriateness or admissibility of a Minister coming on to the Government Front Bench, having been absent for the whole of the time during which this matter has been debated, and at the first opportunity after re-entering the Chamber moving the Closure. Is it in order for that to be accepted by yourself as Deputy-Chairman?

That is not a point of order, and therefore does not fall within my jurisdiction.

You say it does not fall within your jurisdiction, but it certainly fell within your jurisdiction to accept the Motion when it was proposed by the right hon. Gentleman. As it was obviously within your jurisdiction to accept that Motion, I now ask whether it was appropriate that you should accept it.

Ayes, 277; Noes, 258.

Division No. 84.]


[10.25 p.m.

Aitken, W. T.Foster, JohnMcKie, J. H. (Galloway)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)Maclean, Fitzroy
Alport, C. J. M.Gage, C. H.MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Galbraith, Cmdr, T. D. (Pollok)MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.Gammans, L. D.Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)
Arbuthnot, JohnGarner-Evans, E. H.Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. LloydMaitland, Patrick (Lanark)
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth Sutton)Glyn, Sir RalphMarlowe, A. A. H.
Baker, P. A. D.Godber, J. B.Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr J. M.Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)
Banks, Col. C.Gough, C. F. H.Maude, Angus
Barber, A. P. L.Gower, H. R.Maudling, R.
Baxter, A. B.Graham, Sir FergusMaydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.
Beach, Maj. HicksGridley, Sir ArnoldMedlicott, Brig. F.
Beamish, Maj. TuftonGrimond, J.Mellor, Sir John
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Molson, A. H. E.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Harden, J. R. E.Morrison, John (Salisbury)
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Hare, Hon. J. H.Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Harris, Reader (Heston)Nabarro, G. D. N.
Bennett, William (Woodside)Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Nicholls, Harmar
Birch, NigelHarvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)
Bishop, F. P.Harvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)
Black, C. W.Harvie-Watt, Sir GeorgeNield, Basil (Chester)
Boothby, R. J. G.Hay, JohnNoble, Cmdr. A. H. P.
Bossom, A. C.Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.Nugent, G. R. H.
Bowen, E. R.Heald, Sir LionelNutting, Anthony
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Heath, EdwardOakshott, H. D.
Boyle, Sir EdwardHenderson, John (Cathcart)Odey, G. W.
Braine, B. R.Higgs, J. M. C.O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.)
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)Orr, Capt. L. P. S.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.Hinchingbrooke, ViscountOrr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Hirst, GeoffreyOsborne, C.
Brooman-White, R. C.Holland-Martin, C. J.Partridge, E.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Hollis, M. C.Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Bullard, D. G.Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)Perkins, W. R. D.
Bullock, Capt. M.Hopkinson, HenryPeto, Brig. C. H. M.
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.Peyton, J. W. W.
Burden, F. F. A.Horobin, I. M.Pilkington, Capt. R. A.
Butcher, H. W.Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. FlorencePitman, I. J.
Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)Powell, J. Enoch
Carson, Hon. E.Howard, Greville (St, Ives)Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)
Cary, Sir RobertHudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.
Chanson, H.Hurd, A. R.Profumo, J. D.
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)Raikes, H. V.
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clarke (E'b'rgh W)Rayner, Brig. R.
Cole, NormanHutchison, James (Scotstoun)Redmayne, E.
Colegate, W. A.Hylton-Foster, H. B. H.Remnant, Hon. P.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E.Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)Renton, D. L. M.
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertJennings, R.Roberts, Peter (Heeley)
Cooper-Key, E. M.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Robertson, Sir David
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Jones, A. (Hall Green)Robinson, Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Cranborne, ViscountKaberry, D.Robson-Brown, W.
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Keeling, Sir EdwardRodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)Roper, Sir Harold
Crouch, R. F.Lambert, Hon. G.Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Crowder, John E. (Finchley)Lambton, ViscountRussell, R. S.
Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)Lancaster, Col. C. G.Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.
Cuthbert, W. N.Law, Rt. Hon. R. K.Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Darling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)Leather, E. H. C.Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.
Davidson, ViscountessLegge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Schofield, Lt.-Col. W. (Rochdale)
Davies, Rt. Hn. Clement (Montgomery)Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)Scott, R. Donald
Deedes, W. F.Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.
Digby, S. WingfieldLindsay, MartinShepherd, William
Dodds-Parker, A. D.Linstead, H. N.Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.Llewellyn, D. T.Smithers, Peter (Winchester)
Donner, P. W.Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.)Smithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)
Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)Snadden, W. McN.
Duthie, W. S.Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.Soames, Capt. C.
Eccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)
Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Low, A. R. W.Stanley, Capt. Hon. Richard
Elliet, Rt. Hon. W. E.Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)Stevens, G. P.
Erroll, F. J.Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)
Fell, A.Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughStewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)
Finlay, GraemeLyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Fisher, NigelMcAdden, S. J.Storey, S.
Fleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.McCallum, Major. D.Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)
Fletcher-Cooke, C.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
Fort, R.Macdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)Summers, G. S.

Sutcliffe, H.Turton, R. H.Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Taylor, Charles (Eastbourne)Tweedsmuir, LadyWilliams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)Vane, W. M. F.Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
Teeling, W.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)Vosper, D. F.Wills, G.
Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)Walker-Smith, D. C.Wood, Hon. R.
Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)York, C.
Thorneycroft, R. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)Waterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.Watkinson, H. A.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Tilney, JohnWebbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)Brigadier Mackeson and
Touche, G. C.Wellwood, W.Mr. Studholme.
Turner, H. F. L.White, Baker (Canterbury)


Acland, Sir RichardField, W. J.McKay, John (Wallsend)
Adams, RichardFienburgh, W.McLeavy, F.
Albu, A. H.Finch, H. J.MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Follick, M.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Foot, M. M.Mainwaring, W. H.
Awbery, S. S.Forman, J. C.Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Bacon, Miss AliceFraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Baird, J.Freeman, Peter (Newport)Mann, Mrs. Jean
Balfour, A.Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.Manuel, A. C.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Gibson, C. W.Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Bence, C. R.Glanville, JamesMayhew, C. P.
Benn, WedgwoodGooch, E. G.Mellish, R. J.
Benson, G.Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.Messer, F.
Beswick, F.Greenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)Mikardo, Ian
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.Mitchison, G. R.
Bing, G. H. C.Grey, C. F.Monslow, W.
Blackburn, F.Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)Moody, A. S.
Blenkinsop, A.Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
Blyton, W. R.Griffiths, William (Exchange)Morley, R.
Boardman, H.Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Bowden, H. W.Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Mort, D. L.
Bowles, F. G.Hamilton, W. W.Moyle, A.
Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethHannan, W.Mulley, F. W.
Brockway, A. F.Hargreaves, A.Murray, J. D.
Brook, Dryden (Halifax)Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)Nally, W.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hastings, S.Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Hayman, F. H.O'Brien, T.
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)Oliver, G. H.
Burke, W. A.Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)O'Neill, M. (Mid-Ulster)
Burton, Miss F. E.Herbison, Miss M.Oswald, T.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Hewitson, Capt. M.Padley, W. E.
Callaghan, L. J.Hobson, C. R.Paget, R. T.
Carmichael, J.Holman, P.Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Champion, A. J.Houghton, DouglasPannell, Charles
Chapman, W. D.Hoy, J. H.Pargiter, G. A.
Chetwynd, G. R.Hubbard, T. F.Parker, J.
Clunie, J.Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)Paton, J.
Cocks, F. S.Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Pearson, A.
Collick, P. H.Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Peart, T. F.
Cook, T. F.Hynd, H. (Accrington)Plummer, Sir Leslie
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Porter, G.
Cove, W. G.Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)
Crosland, C. A. R.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Proctor, W. T.
Crossman, R. H. S.Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.Pryde, D. J.
Cullen, Mrs. A.Jeger, George (Goole)Pursey, Cmdr. H.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)Rankin, John
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Johnson, James (Rugby)Reeves, J.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)Reid, Thomas (Swindon)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Jones, David (Hartlepool)Reid, William (Camlachie)
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Rhodes, H.
de Freitas, GeoffreyJones, Jack (Rotherham)Richards, R.
Deer, G.Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)Robens, Rt. Hon. A.
Delargy, H. J.Keenan, W.Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Donnelly, D. L.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Driberg, T. E. N.King, Dr. H. M.Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)Lee, Frederick (Newton)Ross, William
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)Royle, C.
Edelman, M.Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)Schofield, S. (Barnsley)
Edwards, John (Brighouse)Lewis, ArthurShackleton, E. A. A.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Lindgren, G. S.Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir Hartley
Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Evans, Albert (Islington, S. W.)Logan, D. G.Short, E. W.
Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)MacColl, J. E.Shurmer, P. L. E.
Ewart, R.McGhee, H. G.Silverman, Julius (Erdington)
Fernyhough, E.McInnes, J.Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)

Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)Thomas, David (Aberdare)Wigg, George
Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Snow, J. W.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Sorensen, R. W.Thurtle, ErnestWilley, Octavius (Cleveland)
Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir FrankTimmons, J.Williams, David (Neath)
Sparks, J. A.Tomney, F.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Steele, T.Turner-Samuels, M.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)Ungoed-Thomas, Sir LynnWilliams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.Wallace, H. W.Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Strachey, Rt. Hon. J.Watkins, T. E.Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Stross, Dr. BarnettWells, Percy (Faversham)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.Wells, William (Walsall)Wyatt, W. L.
Swingler, S. T.West, D. G.Yates, V. F.
Sylvester, G. O.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. JohnYounger, Rt. Hon. K.
Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)White, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Taylor, John (West Lothian)White, Henry (Derbyshire, N.E.)TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.Mr. Popplewell and
Mr. Wilkins.

Question put accordingly, "That those words be there inserted."

Division No. 85.]


[10.37 p.m.

Acland, Sir RichardDriberg, T. E. N.Jay, Rt. Hon. D. P. T.
Adams, RichardDugdale, Rt. Hon. John (W. Bromwich)Jeger, George (Goole)
Albu, A. H.Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.Jenkins, R. H. (Stechford)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Edelman, M.Johnson, James (Rugby)
Anderson, Alexander (Motherwell)Edwards, John (Brighouse)Johnston, Douglas (Paisley)
Anderson, Frank (Whitehaven)Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)Jones, David (Hartlepool)
Awbery, S. S.Edwards, W. J. (Stepney)Jones, Frederick Elwyn (West Ham, S.)
Bacon, Miss AliceEvans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)Jones, Jack (Rotherham)
Baird, J.Evans, Stanley (Wednesbury)Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)
Balfour, A.Ewart, R.Keenan, W.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Fernyhough, E.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.
Bence, C. R.Field, W. J.King, Dr. H. M.
Benn, WedgwoodFienburgh, W.Lee, Frederick (Newton).
Benson, G.Finch, H. J.Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock)
Beswick, F.Fletcher, Eric (Islington, E.)Lever, Leslie (Ardwick)
Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)Follick, M.Lewis, Arthur
Bing, G. H. C.Foot, M. M.Lindgren, G. S.
Blackburn, F.Forman, J. C.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Blenkinsop, A.Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Logan, D. G.
Blyton, W. R.Freeman, Peter (Newport)MacColl, J. E.
Boardman, H.Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H. T. N.McGhee, H. G.
Bottomley, Rt. Hon. A. G.Gibson, C. W.McInnes, J.
Bowden, H. W.Glanville, JamesMcKay, John (Wallsend)
Bowen, E. R.Gooch, E. G.McLeavy, F.
Bowles, F. G.Gordon-Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Braddock, Mrs. ElizabethGreenwood, Anthony (Rossendale)McNeil, Rt. Hon. H.
Brockway, A. F.Grenfell, Rt. Hon. D. R.MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)
Brook, Dryden (Halifax)Grey, C. F.Mainwaring, W. H.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Griffiths, David (Anther Valley)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)
Brown, Thomas (Ince)Griffiths, William (Exchange)Mann, Mrs. Jean
Burke, W. A.Grimond, J.Manuel, A. C.
Burton, Miss. F. E.Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Marquand, Rt. Hon. H. A.
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, S.)Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Mayhew, C. P.
Callaghan, L. J.Hall, John (Gateshead, W.)Mellish, R. J.
Carmichael, J.Hamilton, W. W.Messer, F.
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Hannan, W.Mikardo, Ian
Champion, A. J.Hargreaves, A.Mitchison, G. R.
Chapman, W. D.Harrison, J. (Nottingham, E.)Monslow, W.
Chetwynd, G. R.Hastings, S.Moody, A. S.
Clunie, J.Hayman, F. H.Morgan, Dr. H. B. W.
Cocks, F. S.Healey, Denis (Leeds, S.E.)Morley, R.
Collick, P. H.Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Rowley Regis)
Cook, T. F.Herbison, Miss M.Morris, Percy (Swansea, W.)
Corbet, Mrs. FredaHewitson, Capt. M.Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, S.)
Cove, W. G.Hobson, C. R.Mort, D. L.
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)Holman, P.Moyle, A.
Crosland, G. A. R.Holmes, Horace (Hemsworth)Mulley, F. W.
Crossman, R. H. S.Houghton, DouglasMurray, J. D.
Cullen, Mrs. A.Hoy, J. H.Nally, W.
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H.Hubbard, T. F.Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J.
Darling, George (Hillsborough)Hudson, James (Ealing, N.)O'Brien, T.
Davies, A. Edward (Stoke, N.)Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey)Oliver, G. H.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield, E.)Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Oswald, T.
Davies, Stephen (Merthyr)Hynd, H. (Accrington)Padley, W. E.
de Freitas, GeoffreyHynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Paget, R. T.
Deer, G.Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Paling, Rt. Hon. W. (Dearne Valley)
Delargy, H. J.Irving, W. J. (Wood Green)Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Donnelly, D. L.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Pannell, Charles

The Committee divided: Ayes, 259; Noes, 276.

Pargiter, G. A.Shurmer, P. L. E.Wallace, H. W.
Parker, J.Silverman, Julius (Erdington)Watkins, T. E.
Paton, J.Simmons, C. J. (Brierley Hill)Webb, Rt. Hon. M. (Bradford, C.)
Pearson, A.Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)Wells, Percy (Faversham)
Peart, T. F.Smith, Norman (Nottingham, S.)Wells, William (Walsall)
Plummer, Sir LeslieSnow, J. W.West, D. G.
Porter, G.Sorensen, R. W.Wheatley, Rt. Hon. John
Price, Joseph T. (Westhoughton)Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir FrankWhite, Mrs. Eirene (E. Flint)
Price, Philips (Gloucestershire, W.)Sparks, J. A.White, Henry (Derbyshire, N. E.)
Proctor, W. T.Steele, T.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Pryde, D. J.Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)Wigg, George
Pursey, Cmdr. H.Stokes, Rt. Hon. R. R.Wilcock, Group Capt. C. A. B.
Rankin, JohnStrachey, Rt. Hon. J.Willey, Frederick (Sunderland, N.)
Reeves, J.Strauss, Rt. Hon. George (Vauxhall)Willey, Octavius (Cleveland)
Reid, Thomas (Swindon)Stross, Dr. BarnettWilliams, David (Neath)
Reid, William (Camlachie)Summerskill, Rt. Hon. E.Williams, Rev. Llywelyn (Abertillery)
Rhodes, H.Swingler, S. T.Williams, Ronald (Wigan)
Richards, R.Sylvester, G. O.Williams, W. R. (Droylsden)
Robens, Rt. Hon. A.Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Roberts, Albert (Normanton)Taylor, John (West Lothian)Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)Taylor, Rt. Hon. Robert (Morpeth)Winterbottom, Richard (Brightside)
Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)Thomas, David (Aberdare)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Ross, WilliamThomas, Iorworth (Rhondda, W.)Wyatt, W. L.
Royle, C.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)Yates, V. F.
Schofield, S. (Barnsley)Thurtle, ErnestYounger, Rt. Hon. K.
Shackleton, E. A. A.Timmons, J.
Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir HartleyTomney, F.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.Turner-Samuels, M.Mr. Popplewell and
Short, E. W.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir LynnMr. Wilkins.


Aitken, W. T.Crookshank, Rt. Hon. H. F. C.Henderson, John (Cathcart)
Allan, R. A. (Paddington, S.)Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E.Higgs, J. M. C.
Alport, C. J. M.Crouch, R. F.Hill, Dr. Charles (Luton)
Amery, Julian (Preston, N.)Crowder, John E. (Finchley)Hill, Mrs. E. (Wythenshawe)
Amory, Heathcoat (Tiverton)Crowder, Petre (Ruislip—Northwood)Hinchingbrooke, Viscount
Anstruther-Gray, Major W. J.Cuthbert, W. N.Hirst, Geoffrey
Arbuthnot, JohnDarling, Sir William (Edinburgh, S.)Holland-Martin, C. J.
Ashton, H. (Chelmsford)Davidson, ViscountessHollis, M. C.
Astor, Hon. J. J. (Plymouth, Sutton)Deedes, W. F.Holmes, Sir Stanley (Harwich)
Baker, P. A. D.Digby, S. WingfieldHopkinson, Henry
Baldock, Lt.-Cmdr. J. M.Dodds-Parker, A. D.Hornsby-Smith, Miss M. P.
Banks, Col. C.Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. McA.Horobin, I. M.
Barber, A. P. L.Donner, P. W.Horsbrugh, Rt. Hon. Florence
Baxter, A. B.Duncan, Capt. J. A. L.Howard, Gerald (Cambridgeshire)
Beach, Maj. HicksDuthie, W. S.Howard, Greville (St. Ives)
Beamish, Maj. TuftonEccles, Rt. Hon. D. M.Hudson, W. R. A. (Hull, N.)
Bell, Philip (Bolton, E.)Eden, Rt. Hon. A.Hulbert, Wing Cmdr. N. J.
Bell, Ronald (Bucks, S.)Elliot, Rt. Hon. W. E.Hurd, A. R.
Bennett, F. M. (Reading, N.)Erroll, F. J.Hutchinson, Sir Geoffrey (Ilford, N.)
Bennett, Sir Peter (Edgbaston)Fell, A.Hutchison, Lt.-Com. Clark (E'b'rgh W.)
Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport)Finlay, GraemeHutchison, James (Scotstoun)
Bennett, William (Woodside)Fisher, NigelHylton-Foster, H. B. H.
Birch, NigelFleetwood-Hesketh, R. F.Jenkins, R. C. D. (Dulwich)
Bishop, F. P.Fletcher-Cooke, C.Jennings, R.
Black, C. W.Fort, R.Johnson, Eric (Blackley)
Boothby, R. J. G.Foster, JohnJones, A. (Hall Green)
Bossom, A. C.Fraser, Hon. Hugh (Stone)Kaberry, D.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Gage, C. H.Keeling, Sir Edward
Boyle, Sir EdwardGalbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)Kerr, H. W. (Cambridge)
Braine, B. R.Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Lambert, Hon. G.
Braithwaite, Sir Albert (Harrow, W.)Gammans, L. D.Lambton, Viscount
Braithwaite, Lt.-Cdr. G. (Bristol, N.W.)Garner-Evans, E. H.Lancaster, Col. C. G.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W. H.George, Rt. Hon. Maj. G. LloydLaw, Rt. Hon. R. K.
Brooke, Henry (Hampstead)Glyn, Sir RalphLeather, E. H. C.
Brooman-White, R. C.Godber, J. B.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.
Buchan-Hepburn, Rt. Hon. P. G. T.Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Legh, P. R. (Petersfield)
Bullard, D. G.Gough, C. F. H.Lennox-Boyd, Rt. Hon. A. T.
Bullock, Capt. M.Gower, H. R.Lindsay, Martin
Bullus, Wing Commander E. E.Graham, Sir FergusLinstead, H. N.
Burden, F. F. A.Gridley, Sir ArnoldLlewellyn, D. T.
Butcher, H. W.Grimston, Hon. John (St. Albans)Lloyd, Maj Guy (Renfrew, E.)
Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Grimston, Sir Robert (Westbury)Lloyd, Rt. Hon. Selwyn (Wirral)
Carson, Hon. E.Harden, J. R. E.Lockwood, Lt.-Col. J. C.
Cary, Sir RobertHare, Hon. J. H.Longden, Gilbert (Herts, S.W.)
Channon, H.Harris, Reader (Heston)Low, A. R. W.
Clarke, Col. Ralph (East Grinstead)Harrison, Col. J. H. (Eye)Lucas, Sir Jocelyn (Portsmouth, S.)
Clarke, Brig. Terence (Portsmouth, W.)Harvey, Air Cdre. A. V. (Macclesfield)Lucas, P. B. (Brentford)
Cole, NormanHarvey, Ian (Harrow, E.)Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Colegate, W. A.Harvie-Walt, Sir GeorgeLyttelton, Rt. Hon. O.
Cooper, Sqn. Ldr. AlbertHay, JohnMcAdden, S. J.
Cooper-Key, E. M.Head, Rt. Hon. A. H.McCallum, Major D.
Craddock, Beresford (Spelthorne)Heald, Sir LionelMcCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.
Cranborne, ViscountHeath, EdwardMacdonald, Sir Peter (I. of Wight)

Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Peto, Brig. C. H. M.Stuart, Rt. Hon. James (Moray)
McKie, J. H. (Galloway)Peyton, J. W. W.Studholme, H. G.
Maclean, FitzroyPilkington, Capt R. A.Summers, G. S.
MacLeod, Iain (Enfield, W.)Pitman, I. J.Sutcliffe, H.
MacLeod, John (Ross and Cromarty)Powell, J. EnochTaylor, Charles (Eastbourne)
Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold (Bromley)Price, Henry (Lewisham, W.)Taylor, William (Bradford, N.)
Macpherson, Maj. Niall (Dumfries)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O. L.Teeling, W.
Maitland, Comdr. J. F. W. (Horncastle)Profumo, J. D.Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. P. L. (Hereford)
Maitland, Patrick (Lanark)Raikes, H. V.Thomas, P. J. M. (Conway)
Marlowe, A. A. H.Rayner, Brig. R.Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Marples, A. E.Remnant, Hon. P.Thompson, Lt.-Cdr. R. (Croydon, W.)
Marshall, Douglas (Bodmin)Renton, D. L. M.Thorneycroft, R. Hn. Peter (Monmouth)
Marshall, Sidney (Sutton)Roberts, Peter (Healey)Thornton-Kemsley, Col. C. N.
Maude, AngusRobertson, Sir DavidTilney, John
Maudling, R.Robinson, Roland (Blackpool S.)Touche, G. C.
Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr S. L. C.Robson-Brown, W.Turner, H. F. L.
Medlicott, Brig. F.Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)Turton, R. H.
Mellor, Sir JohnRoper, Sir HaroldTweedsmuir, Lady
Molson, A. H. E.Ropner, Col. Sir LeonardVane, W. M. F.
Monckton, Rt. Hon. Sir WalterRussell, R. S.Vaughan-Morgan, J. K.
Morrison, John (Salisbury)Ryder, Capt. R. E. D.Vosper, D. F.
Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir ArthurWakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Nabarro, G. D. N.Sandys, Rt. Hon. D.Walker-Smith, D. C.
Nicholls, HarmerSchofield, Lt.-Col W. (Rochdale)Ward, Miss I. (Tynemouth)
Nicholson, Godfrey (Farnham)Scott, R. DonaldWaterhouse, Capt. Rt. Hon. C.
Nicolson, Nigel (Bournemouth, E.)Scott-Miller, Cmdr. R.Watkinson, H. A.
Nield, Basil (Chester)Shepherd, WilliamWebbe, Sir H. (London & Westminster)
Noble, Cmdr. A. H. P.Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterWellwood, W.
Nugent, G. R. H.Smithers, Peter (Winchester)White, Baker (Canterbury)
Nutting, AnthonySmithers, Sir Waldron (Orpington)Williams, Rt. Hon. Charles (Torquay)
Oakshott, H. D.Snadden, W. McN.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Odey, G. W.Soames, Capt. C.Williams, Sir Herbert (Croydon, E.)
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Antrim, N.)Spence, H. R. (Aberdeenshire, W.)Williams, R. Dudley (Exeter)
Ormsby-Gore, Hon. W. D.Stanley, Capt. Hon. RichardWills, G.
Orr, Capt. L. P. S.Stevens, G. P.Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Orr-Ewing, Charles Ian (Hendon, N.)Steward, W. A. (Woolwich, W.)Wood, Hon. R.
Osborne, C.Stewart, Henderson (Fife, E.)York, C.
Partridge, E.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Peaks, Rt. Hon. O.Storey, S.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Perkins, W. R. D.Strauss, Henry (Norwich, S.)Major Conant and
Mr. Redmayne.

10.45 p.m.

I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

I do this for the obvious reason that we are at quite a convenient point in the discussion on Clause 1, and I certainly imagine that it would be for the convenience of hon. Members to have some indication of the Government's intentions at this stage.

I do not quite know why the right hon. Gentleman says that this is a convenient place more than any other place. It is not all that convenient. We have not dealt with the last Amendment to page 1, line 9, of the Clause—there is one more of that kind. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not press the matter now. It would be just as well to go on a little longer anyhow.

I am indebted to the right hon. Gentleman, and I do not want to press the matter but, as he knows, many of my hon. and right hon. Friends have to depend upon the public conveyances—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] There is nothing at all unreasonable in that. Do not let hon. Gentlemen opposite get excited or amused. My hon. Friends are capable of staying here as long as is necessary; but we have perhaps had a more agreeable run than hitherto on this Bill, and without pushing the right hon. Gentleman too far in this matter, may I ask whether he is not prepared to add a little more to what he has said?

The run may have been a little better, but not much better and not much more speedy. I appreciate the point which the right hon. Gentleman made, but I would ask the Committee to carry on a little further, for we still have a long way to go, and the Sitting was much delayed at the start by an unexpectedly long debate on the Easter adjournment Motion.

I have not shared in the pleasures of this debate but, like other hon. Members, not to say right hon. Gentlemen, I am anxious to get home. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear."] I am glad to have elicited applause from hon. Members opposite. I gather that they are anxious not to miss the last train or bus—by that I mean those who have no other conveyance.

My only reason for speaking is that I want to elicit from the Minister what he means when he suggests that we should go a little further. Does he mean that he wants to extract from the Committee another one or two Amendments, either Government or Opposition Amendments; or does he mean that he intends to go on for another hour? I address the right hon. Gentleman in the most reasonable frame of mind, at any rate at this stage. There are my opinions. If the right hon. Gentleman does not like them, I can change them.

But I suggest that it would suit the convenience of the Committee if we could gather from the Minister what his intentions are. We are anxious to facilitate the proceedings on this Measure. The Patronage Secretary advises me to get on with it. [An HON. MEMBER: "With the Amendment."] I understand from an hon. Member on the other side that the Government want to dispose of another Amendment. Having done that, do we gather that it is intended to report Progress? All this is so much in the dark. If the right hon. Gentleman could provide a little more illumination, I am sure that it would be helpful to the Committee.

I think that if we were to pass to the Amendment instead of discussing this matter the Committee would not be so much in the dark. It was last night that the light failed. We are not so much in the dark tonight. Although it has been agreeable to hear the voice of the right hon. Gentleman in this debate, and such an unexpected voice, I hope the Committee will agree that we had better see how we get along; then, if necessary, Progress can be reported, and further inquiries made. The optimum would be to get the first Clause. I daresay that that would be pressing the Committee too far. That is why I think we ought to see how many of these comparatively unimportant Amendments that are coming along can be dealt with. We could then see where we stand. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will now withdraw his Motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

I beg to move, in page 1, line 9, at the end, to insert:

(2) No charge shall be made under this section in respect of any drug, medicine, or appliance supplied to any person for whom residential accommodation is being provided under Part III of the National Assistance Act, 1948, and who is not paying the standard rate fixed for that accommodation under section twenty-two of that Act.
This is a simple, straightforward Amendment. All it seeks to do is to absolve certain classes from payment for out-patients' services under this Bill. They are people who are not paying the standard rate and are accommodated in residential institutions run under the National Assistance Act.

Under the National Assistance Act welfare authorities are empowered, to use the words of the Act,
"to provide residential accommodation for persons who by reason of age, infirmity or any other circumstances are in need of care which is not otherwise available to them."
Many welfare authorities in different parts of the country are providing admirable homes for aged patients. I have visited lately in London two such homes, in Lansbury and at Woodberry Down. These homes take in old people, some of whom pay the full charge. Most of them are old age pensioners or are people in receipt of retirement allowances or payments under the National Assistance Act.

As regards those in receipt of payments under those pension schemes and the National Assistance Act, what happens in practice is this. They are assessed to pay for their accommodation and so on, but not in every case. So far as I am aware, some money is left to them, usually about 5s. a week, with which to provide the ordinary common necessities of life and their clothes. So far as those who are in receipt of National Assistance are concerned, the Minister has told us that he is to exempt them from payments under the Act.

What I want to suggest is that under exactly similar circumstances in these particular homes are individuals who are receiving pensions—some of them old age pensions and some retirement pensions. I want to suggest that they should be treated in the same way as they are in exactly the same financial position. If the Minister would grant that, it would case their position very much and make the whole organisation of these homes very much easier, because what has happened is that for the most part these are oldish people, very often more or less infirm, and they have great difficulty in going to collect their own pensions in many cases.

The same applies to public assistance payments. Very often those who run the homes help them a good deal by collecting these payments, and taking what may be considered necessary in payment for their residential accommodation, giving them a certain amount of pocket money.

11.0 p.m.

If it is insisted that these old people must go through all the paraphernalia of showing their exact position financially, then making application, and then getting back the money they have paid for prescriptions or for appliances, that will complicate things very much. I suggest to the Minister that it would be a nice gesture if he could see his way to treating this relatively small class of deserving people, all of whom are very poor, in the way I have suggested.

I have listened carefully to the hon. Gentleman. I did not hear all his earlier observations because there was so much noise in the Committee. [An HON. MEMBER: "On your side."] I am not attributing blame, I am merely making a statement. However, I think I understood the point on which he was addressing us, as to how to deal with residents in welfare homes.

To some extent the Amendment is misconceived, if I may respectfully say so, because persons in these homes who would require medicines would be getting them on prescriptions from general practitioners and not as out-patients of hospitals. So they are outside this Bill and dealt with in other legislation. This only deals with out-patients.

In so far as they require appliances, I am afraid I do not see how one could justifiably exclude them from the charge which would fall upon them. It is quite true that a considerable proportion—I am told it may be as much as a third of those resident in these homes—are National Assistance patients. If they are, then they are automatically exempt. With regard to the others, should there be any case of hardship, they will come under the general hardship provisions which I have explained previously, but the bulk of the cases will be prescriptions under the general practitioner services, and that is outside the Bill. I hope, therefore, that the hon. Gentleman will not press the Amendment.

A number of these people are in receipt of pensions only. The welfare authority is empowered to take from their pensions an amount of money, which leaves them with only 5s. They will have no way of recovering the money because they are not in receipt of National Assistance. How, then, will they be able to recover any shilling they pay if they get a prescription from their ordinary doctor?

I say this subject to further consideration, but one of the factors to be taken into account, as I said in reply to some questions the other day, is that what is to be left to these people after the pension rate is raised is a matter which will have to be considered in the light of the raising of the pensions, which is to be done under the Bill to be introduced by my right hon. Friend. Therefore, 5s. is not necessarily a static figure. It is important to bear that in mind. If there is any question of hardship, then the Assistance Board can give them help.

Let me finish my sentence. In the general case of hardship recourse can be had to the Assistance Board.

These cases are not on all fours with the normal Assistance Board case. Does that satisfy the hon. Lady?

I began the sentence the other way round. Therefore, I agree that we would have to see that they are fitted in. That is the whole point, and I recognise it is a little difficult. But, of course, it applies so far as this Bill is concerned—and I do try to keep to the Bill and not the Act only to appliances. The cases the hon. Lady refers to, owing to the cost of the appliances, would obviously have to receive assistance from someone.

I hope that the Minister will say something a little more definite.

This applies to a large proportion of the old people who live in these homes. They need appliances of various kinds to a far greater degree than the general population, and they are not covered by the rule he has suggested. Unless provision is made to take them out of the class that pays—and I think none should pay for them—the very poorest of the poor are to be punished.

They are the people living in homes provided by local authorities, mainly because they have no one to look after them and because they are poor. Many of them are not able to pay the full charge laid down in the residential homes, yet they will have to pay for these appliances, which they will often need. It seems a bit unreasonable when straight National Assistance cases are allowed to avoid the payment and the smaller number of people who are much poorer are asked to pay.

There is another point. If this charge is to be made, the local authority running the residential home has got to build up an elaborate machinery to collect the money, to assess the charges, and to pass the sums on to the Government. The cost will probably be a great deal more than the cost of allowing what the right hon. Gentleman admits is a small group of people, comparatively, to receive the appliances free.

I hope, therefore, that he will be a little more kindly. He must have some spark of real humanity in him somewhere, and I trust he will let it glimmer more in the interests of these men and women who will be unable to get payment for these appliances through the National Assistance Board. Unless the right hon. Gentleman gives an undertaking to arrange to take them out of the class that has to pay for these appliances, I hope that my hon. Friends will press this Amendment.

This Amendment deals with one of the most difficult classes of potential patients in the whole of the welfare services. Indeed, it is a class of patient which, when I was at the Ministry of Health, we had the utmost difficulty in defining under any appropriate Statute. Hon. Members who are familiar with the legislation may remember that we desired, in the abolition of the old Poor Law system, to provide a substitute for the very bad old workhouse, and what we wanted to do was to provide residential accommodation for old persons wishing to take advantage of it who were still comparatively able to look after themselves, but not to do any of the household chores.

We wanted to fit them in homes of a reasonable size so as to avoid any institutional atmosphere, and I suggested that we ought not to aim at much more than 30 beds because, if we had a larger number than that, we would be back to the old institution. I said 30 at the time, but there is no rigid number. I have opened several of these homes and visited many. Some have 20, 30, 40 and sometimes 50 beds, but when we get to more than that we are once more getting into an atmosphere which is reproductive of the old workhouse system without any of the other abominal features of that method of administration.

When these old folk reach this situation, it is very hard to find a point at which the responsibility for looking after them falls on the local welfare authority and when it should fall on the regional hospital board, because the old folk are in and out—one week they are ill and the next they are fairly all right. I remember having many discussions with local authority organisations on this matter because it is very hard, as it were, to hold them within one Statute as their physical condition makes them overlap rather into another Statute. We wanted the responsibility for personal supervision to rest with the local welfare authorities because there we have the local influence; they were looked after by local councillors who knew all about them and they could be visited by their friends and not regarded as patients for the purposes of a definition of a national health service.

Here we have a body of people that is easily identifiable, because they are persons who pay for their accommodation. The accommodation is not paid for by the National Assistance Board; let us be clear about that. The whole idea was to put these persons in a cash position of being able to pay for accommodation. They would not have the same relationship to the local authority as under the old Poor Law system. They would get the 26s. a week—now raised—and would pay 21s. for accommodation. The cost of accommodation would be more than that, of course, and the local welfare authority would have to subsidise it.

Nevertheless, the fact that they were paying 21s. a week and no more identifies them as people dependent on National Assistance. So they are identifiable in that way, and my hon. Friends are suggesting that they should be automatically exempted from any charges under the Bill because they have already fallen into a special class, a special social category, administratively able to be identified. Indeed, in certain cases they would not be, to use an award expression, "ambulant," and not able to leave residential accommodation and go to hospital. Quite frequently they would have to be visited by doctors to have apparatus fitted in the residential home.

11.15 p.m.

Furthermore, it is quite evident that they would not go to the chemist's shop at all. The medicine would be carried to them. How are they going to do that? The right hon. Gentleman has not been clear about it. At the moment it is perfectly clear, there being no charge, that they are in no difficulty. Once we begin to make charges all these difficulties arise. What is going to happen? Are these old people going along—if they are able to do so—after the general practitioner has visited them and has prescribed medicine for them, and out of the pocket money allowed to them pay the chemist first and recover it afterwards? This is very important.

They cannot get it from the local authority. The local authority have not the statutory power to pay it or to provide any of the facilities that normally fall to the regional hospital boards to provide. Nor can they provide the cash, because once they begin to provide cash we are back to the old Poor Law system again. The whole idea was to lift this class of person out of the Poor Law system and to put them in the way of making a cash payment for their accommodation like any other better off citizen.

What is going to happen? These Amendments have been on the Order Paper for some time. I do not blame the right hon. Gentleman for not being absolutely clear about this, because only those who have been in the centre of this administration know the complexity of the situation. In fact, in many cases the regional hospital boards have complained that they have been asked to undertake the welfare of people who ought to be looked after by the local authorities, and the local authorities have likewise complained that they have been asked to look after chronic invalids who, they say, should be looked after by the regional hospital boards.

This is not a case against the Government, or any Government, because, as I said earlier, this is a class of persons who slip from one Statute to another owing to their physical condition. Nevertheless, there is a real difficulty. The local authority cannot provide the appliance or the cash, and the National Assistance Board will not provide the cash beforehand because the cost has to be incurred before they know what to pay. How are these people to pay? It really is a serious administrative problem.

It is a problem which has only been created because of this silly Bill. It is not intrinsically a serious problem at all. It arises only because of the foolishness of the Government in going on with the Bill. What we are suggesting is that where there are persons in that category they should automatically be exempted from the charge and then no difficulties would arise.

I really think a solution is provided by the Amendment. I do not say that its wording is necessarily appropriate. Very often Amendments are not appropriately worded, but it is up to the Parliamentary draftsmen to put them in proper order at a subsequent stage. If the wording is not in order, I suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should accept it in principle and should subsequently put it right. In any event, I do not think we can let it go without further consideration, unless the right hon. Gentleman is in a position to give assurances at this stage.

I thought I had made it clear that there was a difficult little problem here, but I must congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on the very amusing description he gave of the "in and out" of these patients, if one may call it that; but what we are concerned with here are the appliances. [HON. MEMBERS: "And drugs."] We agreed that the drug question came largely in the other Bill. I do not want to go into all that again. But these people will, in general, I suppose, if they require drugs, get them on prescriptions from general practitioners and not from hospitals. I suppose that would be so in nearly 95 per cent. of the cases. And to the extent that they get them from the general practitioners they are outside this Bill. The appliances are the important thing under this Clause.

The right hon. Gentleman will realise that the same sort of problem has arisen before with spectacles and dentures. In those cases the residents of these homes have to pay the charges and then they obtain the money from the National Assistance Board for the purpose. That is what they do now.

It is no good saying they cannot; somehow they do it. They get the money from the National Assistance Board. They know what the charges will be and they receive a cheque from the Board. That happens with teeth and spectacles, and that would happen with appliances, because the extent of the charge will be known and will be prescribed in the regulations. Therefore, the principle with regard to dentures and spectacles will go forward in the case of appliances under this Bill.

In the case of dentures, all that is necessary is for the dentist to give a certificate to a patient stating that he is going to fit dentures and that the charge will be so much. The National Assistance Board pay the patient and he pays the dentist.

That is exactly what I said. They know ahead of time in the case of spectacles and dentures and the National Assistance Board send them a cheque for the purpose and the cost is paid in that way.

The hon. Lady and hon. Members opposite can have their own opinion, but they are asking what it is proposed to do. They can make what comments they like, but that is the machinery intended in the case of these appliances. I pointed out that I recognised there was a difficulty, but it really does not arise under this Bill. Prescriptions from general practitioners have nothing to do with what we are discussing today. We have to deal with the difficulty of these people who in one sense fall between two stools and in one sense sit on two stools.

The whole purpose of the scheme under the 1948 Act was to avoid an odious distinction between people who had to pay for the accommodation after help from the Assistance Board and those who were able to pay for the accommodation without help. The whole idea was that old folk should live together in the same residential accommodation without any discriminating difference. In other words, one resident ought not to be classified as a National Assistance resident and the other as able to pay full board.

That is the whole point. A difficulty about this is that immediately that individual requires to have additional assistance he or she is identified from the rest in that home as almost a pauper and we are back where we were. Why is it necessary to torment these old folk in this silly fashion?

I would not accept the word "torment." All I was saying was that this has already been done—not when the right hon. Gentleman was in office but by his right hon. Friends last year—in the case of spectacles and dentures.

Why should the right hon. Gentleman have a 100 per cent. black record of defects—all the defects of his own side and all the defects inherited from us? It does seem to me a rather foolish argument on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. It is not good enough to say all the time, "Yah! You did it." It is no explanation to the old people—or defence before them—to say, "You are being tormented twice because the Labour Government tormented you once." That is really not a good line at all. It is merely reducing administration to a Parliamentary charade.

Let us think for a moment not of ourselves—of scoring points off each other—but of the old people with whom we are dealing; and let us try to visualise the situation in which they find themselves. It is easy to do this because those people have already identified themselves, because they are in those homes and are not able to pay the standard amount for the accommodation. So all we need do is to provide them with chits that they can hand privately to the chemist or what not; and then the whole thing is perfectly clear. I do hope that the right hon. Gentleman will look at this again before the Bill is completed, to see if we can introduce a little more humanity into it, and less cash sense all the time.

I ask the Minister to be a little more forthcoming. The first time he came to that Box he said that this would be subject to further consideration. I thought then that we had achieved a minor victory, and that for the first time the Minister was softening. He has been a little hard during our discussions and has refused to give way on any point. At long last, I thought, he had softened on this question of the old people—the two categories of old people living in one institution; and that he had realised he really could not justify the anomaly that has been described by many of my hon. Friends.

I say this to him. Will he be a little more generous and say that those words, "subject to further consideration," mean that he will accept this Amendment? I do not want to be guilty of tedious repetition, but those of us who know these institutions feel that this part of the Bill, like the other parts, was slipped in without sufficient consideration. We know that the Minister is being a little stubborn in resisting our Amendment, because finally he will have to. It is quite impossible to deal with these old people differently. In one room there will be an old woman who is an Assistance patient, and in another room an old woman who is a pension patient, each having 5s. to spend.

Unless he accepts the Amendment, the Minister suggests a cumbersome piece of machinery will be set up to treat those old people. I say that that is just absurd. It is a waste of public money, and to suggest it is to under-estimate the intelligence of this Committee. Therefore, I press the Minister, just for the first time, to accept an Amendment of ours. It would be pleasant for him to go home for his Easter Recess feeling that for the first time—and, perhaps the last time—in this Committee he had done a generous thing.

I am sorry to intervene at this late hour—but this Amendment is one that anyone with a social conscience will feel very strongly about, because here, I feel, is an opportunity for my right hon. Friend to give way, for at times compassion is far more important than legislation. He is suggesting a vast piece of legislative machinery for old people who are to be exempt anyway. He will not be giving away any money of the Chancellor of the Exchequer by thus showing compassion—and the spirit of Easter, as some hon. Gentleman suggests.

11.30 p.m.

I should like to see the Minister give way here. It would cost the country nothing, and at the same time it would be a gesture towards these people in these homes. From that point of view, this is an important Amendment. The right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) suggested that we were returning to the workhouse or the Poor Law system. Whatever we choose to call it, these people ought not to be worried by forms and by getting cheques for an odd shilling, all of which is quite unnecessary.

I hope that on this occasion the Minister will show the right spirit—not the spirit of Christmas, although we have rather lost the sense of time in the Committee—but, let us say, the spirit of Easter. I hope he will say that he will carefully consider the Amendment and will provide some means by which these people can be exempted from the Bill without destroying the principle of the shilling charge which we on this side of the Committee support.

May I offer my congratulations to the hon. Member for Norfolk, South (Mr. Baker) and commend him to the mercy of the Whips? Perhaps I may add a word of mitigation for him in case he gets into serious trouble. It is greatly to his credit that he has had the courage to urge the Minister to give way on this Amendment, which is relatively small in terms of £ s. d., but which is very important in terms of humanity.

An argument which might appeal to the right hon. Gentleman is one which has been made to him already—that there is no question of spending public money. Indeed, it is the opposite. There will be a direct saving of public money if the Amendment is accepted, because what the Bill suggests is that x pounds or shillings will be charged on the one hand and, after a rigamarole of forms and red tape, it will be replaced on the other hand. It is a question of taking money out of one public pocket and putting it into the other public pocket. No money will be spent by anyone except the Chancellor of the Exchequer and, in the process of taking it out of his right hand pocket and putting it into his left hand pocket, the Chancellor will be involved in expenditure for administration.

I am certain that if such a proposition had been put forward by the Labour Government it would have been castigated in speeches by the then Opposition, who would have ridiculed the whole business. We do not want to do that. If we did, we might harden the right hon. Gentleman's heart. I feel more encouraged in this case than I have been throughout the Committee stage, for I feel that the right hon. Gentleman has indicated that he realises that there is a strong case for the Amendment. He seems to have shown that clearly. Why he has not given way I do not know, unless he has determined in advance to give way on nothing this evening.

I appeal to him to listen to one of his own supporters, if he will not listen to us, and to go a little further. We do not ask him to accept the letter of the Amendment, but the spirit, and if, having accepted the principle of the Amendment, he will promise between now and the Report stage to produce his own Amendment giving a form of words which will carry it into effect, I feel sure the Committee will be encouraged not only to thank him for having given way on this occasion but perhaps to be a little more timely when we come to deal with some of the other Amendments.

I want to ask the Minister, because I am not clear on the point, how many people are involved in this matter. I also would like to know whether it is true that the cost of the administration will indeed be a further burden on the Treasury? If this scheme is going to be an increased burden, it seems to me a pity that we should not be given a little more information about it. There is only one other matter I should like to mention, as the hour is late.

We have heard from the right hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) some talk about Parliamentary charades. I think that is a good description of what has been happening, and I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for using those words. I also feel that it is a great mistake for hon. Gentlemen in any part of the Committee to believe that my right hon. Friend the Minister is hard-hearted in this matter. When going through the Lobby recently I heard him called "Hard-Hearted Harry." It is a false description. I would ask him, to save time, merely to say that he will give further consideration to this matter. It is not going to alter the principle which we are debating, but it is going to increase the cost to the Exchequer.

If I may intervene again, and I do not want to deprive the right hon. Gentleman of an opportunity to speak, I did indicate in my earlier speech that this was a difficult problem, because, as the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. Bevan) has said, these are old people. The number is in the region of about 60,000.

Mr. Crookshank