HC Deb 28 February 1945 vol 408 cc1370-1
44. Mr. Riley

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction prevailing in Jamaica with the Governmental medical services; that at least three medical officials have resigned from the service during the past year on account of dissatisfaction with the administration; and will he inquire into the causes of this dissatisfaction with a view to remedying it.

Colonel Stanley

I received a deputation when in Jamaica of representatives of the local branch of the British Medical Association who expressed dissatisfaction on some points affecting the medical service. As I informed them, these matters are now primarily the concern of the new Executive Council and Legislature in Jamaica. I should therefore not be prepared to intervene on the question whether any inquiry should be made into the causes of any recent resignations from the Medical Service.

Mr. Riley

Are we to take it that questions regarding conditions in Jamaica are not to be addressed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies?

Colonel Stanley

The hon. Member cannot have it both ways. He was one of the people who most supported the extension of self-government to Jamaica and self-government becomes a farce if, in fact, the Colonial Office is to retain a complete hold upon matters affecting the Colony.

Dr. Morgan

Is it not a fact that the Director of Medical Services, who was appointed by the local Government with the approval of the Colonial Office, is now over the retiring age: why is he kept on so long when he should have retired long ago; and is not the cause of the whole trouble the fact that this medical officer is in charge?

Colonel Stanley

Perhaps the hon. Member will put that question down.

Mr. Creech Jones

Are we to understand that this House now abrogates its supervision in regard to welfare and development in Jamaica; and is it now to be the practice that questions relating to the administration of Jamaica, since the Secretary of State has not responsibility, are not to be allowed?

Colonel Stanley

Of course, that is not the position. I am willing to answer any question but I must make it plain that I should think that I was completely destroying what this House had agreed on for the Jamaica Constitution if, on every small matter of detailed administration, I were to interfere with the Jamaican Government.