HC Deb 30 July 1908 vol 193 cc1699-700

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department where the expenditure on the wheeled litter ambulances placed in the streets of London during the last two years by his authority is set out; whether he is aware that the London County Council submitted in its General Powers Bill of 1906 a proposal to establish a motor ambulance system for accidents for London, and that proposal received the unanimous support of this House; whether the clauses dealing with this proposal were struck out of the Bill in another place on his suggestion; whether the expenditure on wheeled litter ambulances was authorised by him after these clauses were struck out of this General Powers Bill; and whether he has power in any other county or town in England to charge the rate without the consent of the ratepayers and, if not, why is London the exception.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) Particulars of the expenditure from the Metropolitan Police Fund in respect of wheeled litter ambulances are not shown separately in the accounts of the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District. The London County Council's Bill of 1906 provided for general powers to establish an ambulance service, but their intention was only to provide a service of an experimental and limited character. The clauses dealing with the matter were thrown out by a Committee of the House of Lords after consideration of the Home Office Report on the Bill, and a Departmental Committee was shortly afterwards appointed to inquire into the whole question. Wheeled litters have been sanctioned since 1906, and others previously sanctioned have been placed out since that date, according as it has been found possible to meet existing needs. I have no similar powers elsewhere than in the Metropolitan Police District, the powers as regards the provision of litters in that district belonging to the Secretary of State as police authority for the Metropolis.