HC Deb 22 July 1946 vol 425 cc1733-4

Where the Minister is satisfied upon the representation of the governing body of any voluntary organisation performing any of the functions referred to in Part III of this Act, that by reason of a reduction in income it will be unable to maintain and develop its services during the period between the date of the passing of this Act and the appointed clay for the purposes of Part III, the Minister may make such payment to the organisation as in his opinion is desirable for the purpose of securing the maintenance and development of its services at a satisfactory standard during that period.—[Mr. Linstead.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Linstead

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

The arguments in favour of this Clause are essentially the arguments to which the Committee have already listened in respect of the previous Clause, and I suspect that the Minister's answer will be substantially the same, although one hopes that it will be perhaps a little briefer and a little more to the point. We anticipate that the same effect will be felt in regard to contributions by a large number of voluntary bodies, which at present provide services described in Part III of this Bill, as is likely to be felt by the voluntary hospitals, and that they will all suffer a diminution in their income as a consequence of the Bill's passing. If that be so, it is to the interest of everybody concerned, especially of the local authorities which will use these services, that they shall be maintained at their full efficiency. I do not want to take up the time of the Committee in going over the arguments, and I think it will probably be sufficient if I put a simple question to the Minister, anti ask him whether he is satisfied that, in the event of any of these voluntary organisations finding themselves in difficulties and coining to him for financial assistance during the interim period, he will have the power—in whatever dark recesses that power may reside—to help them to carry on their services until they are taken under the wing of the local authorities.

Mr. Bevan

As the hon. Gentleman said in his commendably brief speech, for which I am grateful to him, the arguments are, in fact, the same as the arguments concerning the last new Clause, and the answer is the same—that where these organisations do get themselves into difficulties, and their efficiency is likely to be impaired, and that it is necessary that they should be carried on for the new service, assistance will be forthcoming.

Question, "That the Clause be read a Second time," put, and negatived.

Bill, reported, with Amendments; as amended (in the Standing Committee and on recommittal), considered.