§ 37. Mr. STEPHEN
asked the Minister of Pensions when he proposes to close down Bellahouston Hospital, Glasgow; and what steps he proposes to take to provide for the large number of ex-service men in Glasgow and the West of Scotland in need of hospital treatment?
After careful consideration I have decided that Bellahouston Hospital cannot justifiably be maintained beyond a date early in the New Year, so that the premises may be banded back to the Red Cross and the necessary reinstatements completed by the date of the expiry of the lease.
I have arranged with the Committee of Erskine House for the use of that hospital for the type of case at present treated at Bellahouston. The patients will be under the care of the same surgeon as heretofore. I have also made arrangements 'with the Glasgow Royal Infirmary for the immediate admission of any case requiring urgent emergency treatment. All out-patients will be treated at the Glasgow Area Clinic.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Does the right hon. Gentleman not intend to have a hospital in Glasgow to serve the ex-service men in the West of Scotland?
Erskine House, I understand, is in Glasgow. What I have to do is to see that adequate treatment is provided for the men, and I am satisfied that the arrangements made with Erskine House as a general hospital will meet all requirements.
§ Mr. STEPHEN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Ex-Service Men's Association is very strongly against this transfer to Erskine House, which was set up for another purpose altogether.
§ Mr. MAXTON
Is the Minister of Pensions aware that Erskine House is a most inaccessible place from Glasgow, and is more particularly difficult for men who have lost limbs or who are crippled in some way. Has the Minister of Pensions visited Erskine House?
I have personally visited Erskine House, and I am not aware of the conditions which have been suggested by the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton). I am quite willing to look into this aspect.