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Hospital Building Programme

Volume 720: debated on Wednesday 17 November 1965

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14.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland why it has taken over twelve months to review the hospital building programme; and when he expects to publish the result.

There are many factors to consider in the review, and its later stages have to await Government decisions about priorities in expenditure. My right hon. Friend hopes to publish the results of the review by about the end of the year.

Does the hon. Lady agree that, whatever has motivated her right hon. Friend in this matter, it is not the dynamic feat of energy which we were promised by the Administration? Can she give a firm and unqualified undertaking that the review will not affect in any downward direction at all the quinquennial expenditure in the two periods to which the Government fell heir in the plan of the last Government?

I can reassure the hon. Gentleman that there will be no reduction in the total programme. We believe in a dynamic programme of social investment and, therefore, we must plan everything in integration.