HC Deb 22 July 1946 vol 425 c1734

All charges recoverable under this Act by the Minister, a local health authority or any body constituted under this Act, may, without prejudice to any other method of recovery, be recovered summarily as a civil debt.—[Mr. Key.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

.50 p.m.

Mr. Key

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

There is in Clause 71 a paragraph which says that local authorities, and the bodies constituted under this Bill, shall have the power to recover debts in a manner to be decided by regulation. The point was raised in Committee that this was much too vague and that the powers given were much too wide; and the Minister undertook to look into the matter. As a result, we have an Amendment on the Paper for the omission of paragraph (d) of Clause 71, and we now propose the substitution of this New Clause. It meets the criticism raised in the Committee, by making it more explicit that these debts are to be recovered summarily as civil debts only. At the same time, the Minister is included among those on whose behalf Regional Hospital Boards and other bodies will recover charges for appliances that have been supplied, private accommodation that has been given in hospitals, and similar debts that have arisen through the hospital services.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.