HC Deb 25 February 1937 vol 320 cc2178-9
50. Mr. Kirby

asked the Minister of Health whether the decision of the Lancashire Mental Hospitals Board to charge the local authorities an additional 2d. per day per patient has been finally approved; and, if so, can he give the reason for the proposed increase?

Sir K. Wood

The proposed increase is a matter for the Lancashire Mental Hospitals Board, and does not require my approval. I understand, however, that it is due mainly to a rise in the wages bill of the nursing staff owing to the adoption of a shorter working day, and to an advance in the price of commodities such as coal and flour.

Mr. Kirby

In thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask him whether, having regard to the increased cost of commodities, he is prepared to recommend his right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour to give an increase in unemployment benefit and assistance?

Sir K. Wood

The hon. Member must have regard to the first part of my answer, that is, the rise in wages to the staff, which I have no doubt he will desire to welcome and support.