HC Deb 02 May 1946 vol 422 cc323-417

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment [Ist May] to Question [3oth April], "That the Bill be now read a Second time," which Amendment was, to leave out from "That", to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof: this House, while wishing to establish a comprehensive health service, declines to give a Second Reading to a Bill which prejudices the patient's right to an independent family doctor, which retards the development of the hospital services by destroying local ownership, and gravely menaces all charitable foundations by diverting to purposes other than those intended by the donors the trust funds of the voluntary hospitals; and which weakens the responsibility of local authorities without planning the health services as a whole."—[Mr Willink ]

Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question "

3.38 p.m.

Colonel Stoddart-Scott (Pudsey and Otley)

In the course of this Debate we have heard that this is a good Bill, and we have also heard that it is not so good. We have heard that it is a progressive Bill, and we have also heard that it is not It all depends on what is meant by a good Bill and what you intend it to do, and what you mean by progress. Some people think that the further they get away from their home at night the more they are getting on and being progressive. I, myself, take the view that the nearer I get to my own homestead and my family, the more progressive I am. It you think that a good Bill is one which gives you a full-time medical service, which can without any further legislation provide that service, and which gives also a nationalised hospital service, then you are right in assuming that this is a good Bill. Time alone will show whether it is a good Bill or a bad Bill.

In no part of this House is there any wish not to have in this country, at the very earliest moment, a comprehensive health service, but this Bill does not provide a comprehensive health service. As the House knows, we have under the Education Act a health service to deal with school children. We know that there are four other major Government Departments which have their own medical services, and the hon. Member for North Islington (Dr. Haden Guest) even suggested last night that the Colonial Office and the India Office, which have their own medical services, should, at some future date, come into a comprehensive health scheme. There are no less than 17 Government Departments which have their own health schemes, and this Bill does not attempt in any way to coordinate them.

Neither is it a health Bill in itself, for it does not attempt in any positive way to set out a health scheme in this country. It is purely a hospital service or a medical service Bill, a Bill for the treatment of disease. In fact, it is only in Clause 16 of the Bill, in six brief lines, that there is any positive health provision; that is where the suggestion is made that the Minister should have powers to conduct or assist research in this country into the prevention and curation of disease—powers which, I believe, the Minister already has without that one Clause in this Bill. I should like to suggest to the Minister that he should take powers not only for the prevention and curation of disease, but also to deal with the causation of disease. Until we know, for instance, what the causes of rheumatism and cancer are we cannot attempt either to prevent or to cure them. I hope that when we get to the Committee stage we shall be able to add the word "causation" to that Clause, so that physiological research and other research such as experimental pathological research can go on at the same time.

Indeed, one of the pieces of preventive medicine, the very first we had in this country, which has been so successful in almost stamping out disease, is abolished by this Bill. That is compulsory vaccination. We find here a Bill which coerces the medical profession, which coerces hospitals and local authorities; yet the Minister is not prepared to coerce the general public in some small way, to their benefit, by insisting that vaccination shall remain compulsory. Nor does this Bill carry out a suggestion which has been made again and again by the medical profession and even by the Minister's own Party, that the Minister of Health should be Minister of Health only, and should devote the whole of his time to the health of the community, and not spread it over housing and so many other things. I believe this Bill contravenes one of the promises of the Labour Party in their Election manifesto, "Let Us Face the Future," in which they said that if they were returned to power, they would set up a Minister of housing to deal with housing alone. Here, instead, we have the Minister carrying on both housing and health at the same time, and giving five minutes only of his time each day to considering the health of the people and spending the rest of his time in stopping people building houses.

I am not going to address the House as a doctor or as one from a teaching hospital staff, because I believe this Bill is one which affects the people of this country, and it is the people we want to think about, rather than hospitals, or any other interested body. What do the people of the country think about it? I spent the Recess in my constituency and two large cities in the West Riding of Yorkshire into which my constituency protrudes, and I found that there are very great anxieties on certain counts. Many of these anxieties are probably unnecessary, and I hope the Minister or the Lord Privy Seal, who is to reply, will abolish some of those anxieties, as I am sure he can. I believe that the first anxiety arises because people dislike the fact that their doctors would appear under this Bill to be employed by the State. The Parliamentary Secretary spoke yesterday of the State service. If we are to have a State service it must be manned, in my view, by State servants; and it is only right and proper that those people who have been used to looking upon their doctors as employed by themselves, and responsible to themselves only, should show anxiety when they find that doctors are to be employed by the State and are to be responsible to some statutory body set up by the State, which takes its orders from regulations issued by the Minister. They see in this, some method by which the Government are to control certification. They realise very well that under the present panel system someone who is sick receives 15s. a week sickness benefit for 26 weeks, which, after 26 weeks, is reduced to 7s. 6d. But under the new National Insurance Bill a man with two children sees he will receive £3 2s. 6d. for an unlimited number of weeks on the certificate from a doctor, and he does not like to think there should be anything in this Bill which would make his doctor less independent and fearless than previously with regard to his certification, This may be a wrong impression, but I think this impression is built up on the following facts.

The Labour Party's policy, as published at Blackpool, clearly indicated—and we heard it again yesterday—that it was in favour of a full-time salaried medical service, and the Minister himself, in one of his first statements, spoke about a doctor's remuneration being substantially a basic salary. In the White Paper he speaks about the remuneration being part basic salary and part capitation, with a diminishing capitation fee. I should like the Minister who is to reply, to explain why it should be a diminishing capitation fee. Why should it be two for a penny and three for two pence? There is no explanation in the Bill or the White Paper why it should be a diminishing capitation fee. But in his Second Reading speech which, I hope he will permit me to say was, in the view of many of us on this side of the House, a very statesmanlike speech, the right hon. Gentleman spoke of the capitation being the main source of the doctor's remuneration. I want to ask the Minister if he has changed his mind with regard to the doctor's remuneration, because there have been no negotiations, he has told us, with the doctors. I think he has also told us there are to be no negotiations of any kind before the Committee stage or before the Third Reading of the Bill. Why has he changed his mind? Is it because of the findings of the Spens Committee? We all know that the Spens Committee have finished sitting. It is generally known that the Spens Committee have submitted their report—

The Minister of Health (Mr. Aneurin Bevan)

That is not correct. The hon. and gallant Gentleman must not accuse me of telling untruths to the House. The Spens Committee have not yet reported.

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

I must apologise if I conveyed to the House the impression that the Minister was untruthful, but he did say it was not "fully available"—

Mr. Bevan

Certainly. The report is not available until all the members have reported.

Mr. Willink (Croydon, North)

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean he has received a majority report and not a minority report? What does he mean by "not fully available"?

Mr. Bevan

I doubt very much whether I am entitled to reply to that. The Government are asked whether the report is available. My answer is that it is not available. There is no partial report of a Select Committee. There may be a minority. There may be a majority report and three or four minority reports. There is no report available from the Committee until the whole report is available. As soon as the report is available, I will publish it.

Sir Wavell Wakefield (St. Marylebone)

But does the right hon. Gentleman mean by the word "fully," that it is available or not?

Mr. Bevan

It is not.

Sir W. Wakefield

Then why say "fully"?

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

That clarifies my position. It is not available. The right hon. Gentleman told us on Tuesday he had not got the Committee's full report. Now we have the explanation. I think the anxiety of people with regard to their doctors arises also because this Bill prevents the buying and selling of the goodwill of a practice. In his Second Reading speech, the Minister called it an evil in itself, tantamount to the sale and purchase of patients, and, on a previous occasion, he described the buying and selling of medical practices as profound and indefensible immorality. There is no immorality in buying and selling medical practices, any more than there is in buying and selling the goodwill of a legal or dental practice. If there is immorality in it, I must ask the Minister to consider that the present Prime Minister and the present Lord Privy Seal both put their signatures to the previous Coalition White Paper, which intended to carry on this supposed "immorality." If it is immoral to buy and sell medical patients, it is equally immoral to buy and sell dental patients, and this Bill makes no effort to stop that. The only reason the Minister has given for stopping the buying and selling of medical practices, is that to do so will help in the even distribution of medical practitioners. If that is the reason, then I say there is no better way of having an even distribution of medical practitioners than by having a 100 per cent. scheme, whereby you can detail how many patients each doctor can have. By that method, we can have an even distribution of practitioners throughout the whole of the country. I believe, if we have this negative direction, that we shall be compelling disgruntled doctors, with angry wives, to go to places where they do not wish to practise, and create in the medical profession Bevan boys, such as we had in the mines during the war.

The buying of practices has never been that financial burden around the neck of a young man as we have heard it described. You have only to think of the many thousands of poor Scotsmen who have come down to this country to start here, who have never gone into the bankruptcy court, and who have never gone back to their own country. A medical man, from the day he qualifies, can go into a decent sized practice, and, by paying off the purchase price of that practice over a period of 12 years, can secure for himself, during the whole of that time, no less than £700 per year. This has never been a drawback. The drawback to men going into medicine is the medical education. That is the bottleneck which has prevented people from becoming doctors. I believe that this £66 million of the taxpayers' money is going to be thrown away, in order that this bit of party politics can be introduced in this Bill. It would be better used if it were spent on providing a cheaper medical education.

Mr. Alpass (Thornbury)


Colonel Stoddart-Scott

I have waited 20 years to come here to speak on this subject and I hope the hon. Member will forgive me if I do not give way, as my time is limited. I believe that men and women are anxious because, in this Bill, there are great dictatorial powers given to the Minister. Much greater powers are given to the Minister, I think, than he needs or wishes. One has only to glance through some of the Clauses of this Bill to see what tremendous powers he has. I know that nobody in this House minds that the present Minister, with his eloquence and enthusiasm which endear him to us all, should have these great powers, but he will not always be the Minister of Health. He has held the job of Minister of Health and Housing for nine months, and in medicine and obstetrics nine months is a very significant period. It is the period of gestation, and if he does not produce more houses quickly, and a better medical service, I am sure the people of this country will dub him not only sterile, but impotent also. When we realise that the next Minister of Health may be—who knows?—the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher), it is right and proper that the people should be anxious about some of the powers which are given to the Minister in this Bill. It is possible, under Clause 43, for the Minister to send to any part of the country an unqualified man to practise medicine, and it is possible for the Minister to displace a doctor and send an unqualified man in his place. In another part of the Bill, he has power on the Central Health Services Council, and on the Executive Council, to vary the Constitution as he likes, and so all that excellent proportion which has been prepared and made between the profession and the local authorities can be completely wiped away if the Minister wishes. In Clause 2 (3), there is no number stated. I think that that is a very serious thing, because a Minister could pack the members of these regional hospital boards to the extent that no one who had any knowledge of the running of the great hospital system was on the board. There never was a more undemocratic method of choosing a body. In Clause 35, the Minister has power to prosecute. He can prosecute a doctor years after he has left his private practice and come into the State scheme, if he sells his house or surgical instruments to another doctor. Under Clause 34 (9), even a son who follows his father is precluded from making any financial assistance to his father and mother, even if they are in need.

May I now say a word about our health centres? This is a very useful suggestion. I think it was made by Lord Dawson's Committee, which sat in 1920. The Minister, in his speech, indicated that health centres of different kinds will be set up in different localities. The only criticism which one can make, is that he gives the local health authorities the statutory duty to set up these centres. Therefore, where you have a small health authority, like Rutlandshire or some small county council, it is their duty to set them up without having some overhead body, like the regional hospital board, to decide where these centres shall be established. I think it would be much better if we could have some control, perhaps from the Minister himself. One heard it said in this House—I believe it was by the hon. Lady the Member for North-East Leeds (Miss Bacon), who to our regret is ill and unable to be in her place today—that these health centres give a great opportunity for group practices. There are no virtues in group practices, and there are no advantages to be obtained by them alone, unless you have the aids to diagnosis—X-ray, pathology and all those other things. I am sure that the Minister will have heard those famous words of Lowell: A single doctor, like a sculler plies. The patient lingers, then slowly dies. But two physicians, like a pair of oars, Shall waft him swiftly to the Stygian shores

To bring together an accumulation of doctors in a rural area, will have only one result: patients will have further to go and longer to wait for medicine and for documents You will lose some of that confidence which has been built up between the doctor and the patient. It will introduce into medical practice an institutional type of medicine, and an outpatient atmosphere will be created. The personal contact and the personal touch of the doctor in his home will be lost.

People are truly anxious, too, about the State ownership of hospitals. I think that there is no one who disagrees with the Minister that the time has now come when voluntary hospitals cannot exist on voluntary contributions, whether they are the big contributions or the work-people's contributions. Once it became necessary to introduce large weekly national insurance contributions, the 2d. and 3d. a week of the voluntary hospital system became quite impossible. Is it necessary because the Minister or the Government finance an institution up to 100 per cent.—be it a university or a school—that they must physically own it, and not just control it? I think that is a principle on which we must decide, and against which we must fight. Regional hospital boards for the overall planning of our hospital system are excellent. I, personally, regret that they do not also plan where the situation of the health centres should be. I should like to ask the Minister, or the Lord Privy Seal, who is to reply, if it has yet been decided which regions are to be based on which universities, because it does seem that there are extraordinarily large regions for planning. When we realise that from Bristol you may have to plan for the whole of Somerset, Dorset, Devonshire, Cornwall, and probably part of Wales, and from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, it is apparent that some of the personal touch is going to be taken away in the very remote areas.

I think, too, that there is anxiety about the endowments of the hospitals. It is wrong to say that endowments are only moneys given by wealthy people, now deceased, much of which came from the Exchequer. There are many endowments which have come from the shillings and pence of working-class people, and many endowments, now held by hospitals, were given for specific purposes by people who are still alive. I hope that the Minister will consider whether some of those cannot remain for the specific purposes for which they were given. May I give two examples? In the city of Bradford, there is a magnificent hospital, which has just built a fine radium clinic. It is one of the largest and first in the Kingdom and has been built by the shillings and pence of the citizens of Bradford to celebrate the Coronation of our present King. That institution, which is not a teaching hospital, will lose its endowment, and although its management had the enthusiasm and initiative to think and plan for the future, and to be a pioneer in this health service, it will, if the Minister's intention is what it appears to be, have its endowment taken from it and transferred to some other part of the country.

In my own constituency, at Ilkley, there was a hospital with which the citizens were very dissatisfied. Before the war, they collected sufficient money to build a new hospital and bought a piece of land on which to build it immediately after the war. It would be tragic if those people, who had worked so hard, and who had planned and schemed for the future, had no opportunity of building their hospital. I see that the Minister is shaking his head; I hope that means that my view of the matter is wrong.

This Bill can, without any extra legislation, create a State monopoly in dentists, specialists, doctors and hospitals. It has certain good qualities, and I hope that we may be able to improve other parts of it, but we cannot get away from the fact that it is an untidy Bill. In my view, it menaces the obstetric and midwifery services, and I hope that we shall be able to get some improvement in the plans for those services before the Bill becomes an Act. It is an insincere Bill, because it does nothing for positive health, and gives no assurance to the people that the hospitals will generally reach a higher standard. It does a certain amount of harm to the doctor-patient relationship, and the service it proposes is in no way a free health service, as has been stated, because every individual will have to pay £3 a year for this service. I do not think that you can call it a free service, when, although many people, for long periods, will have no doctors' bills or hospital bills, yet they will be called upon to pay £3 per head per year. The Minister has a great opportunity, and I hope that he will take it. If he does, he will go down, in my view, in the history of medical progress with Lister, Lloyd-George and even Banting and Fleming. I hope that he will have the disposition to preserve more of the good qualities in our present services and, at the same time, the ability to improve those that are not up to a high standard.

4.7 P.m.

Mr. Hardy (Salford, South)

I am very grateful for the opportunity to say a few words, and I hope that I may claim the indulgence of Members for this, my first, effort in this House. I cannot claim, like the previous speaker, that I have waited for 20 years to get my piece across, but I have been particularly concerned, for a longer period than 20 years, with the subject to which I am going to refer. I think that we all appreciate that this proposal, which the House is now discussing, is most revolutionary, and one which was encouraged and requested from this side of the House for many years.

I want to make a special plea for the ambulance services. I have been a member of a local authority for a great number of years, like many other Members in this House, and I remember the days, particularly the old days of the boards of guardians, when anyone who could drive a horse was engaged to be an ambulance driver. That did not apply only to one part of the country. In many places, that was the practice in those days. I agree that, since the passing of the Local Government Act, 1929, when the guardians went out of existence so far as the county boroughs were concerned, there has been a great improvement in the ambulance services. But there is plenty of room for further improvement. I have believed, for many years, that we have never placed a real and true value upon the ambulance services. I have known people who have been appointed without any experience, knowledge or qualifications as ambulance drivers, and many of them are doing that work today. Those are not the type of people we want to be bound up with this Measure. If it was right during the war to nationalise the fire services, with a view to saving life, surely there cannot be anything wrong in nationalising the ambulance services. I understand that, in many towns, that was effectively done under one regional control, and that Plymouth had a very fine ambulance service during the war.

There is, however, a danger under this Measure. Clause 27 allows local authorities to retain the authority to control the ambulance services. This gives those authorities the right to employ contractors to do the work instead of having it done by an experienced and qualified ambulance service. In private practice there have been cases where a private car was used as an ambulance, and was not fitted for the job, and had no particular equipment. A youth whose hands were thick with oil and grease has been sent to remove patients from a house to a hospital. I think that that is a practice that ought not to be encouraged at all. I am perfectly satisfied that the Minister, if he will only look at this matter, will realise its importance, in the saving of life, because we are convinced that inadequate ambulance services for many years in many parts of the country have been responsible for loss of life. We can safeguard against that, if the Minister will only agree to take the same view of the importance of the ambulance services, as he is taking of the medical and hospital services. Other people in this House are more concerned with the buying and selling of medical practices. My object in saying these few words is to ask the Minister to have a look at this question, with a view to bringing about a unified ambulance service, under the control of the regional authority which is to be responsible for the hospitals. We shall be grateful if he will do so and the public at large could appreciate the fact that at last this Government have appreciated the value of the Cinderella of the health services in this country.

4.12 p.m.

Sir Wave11 Wakefield (St. Marylebone)

I am sure I am speaking on behalf of the whole House when I say how pleased we are to have heard the hon. Member for South Salford (Mr. Hardy) make his maiden speech. During the Debate on this Bill we have had many maiden speeches, and I think it has been characteristic of all the speakers, without exception, that they have spoken from the heart, and invariably with knowledge of their subject. It seems to me that if that same experience and knowledge are brought into the Committee stage this Bill may emerge, in its final form, a better Bill. We hope we may hear the hon. Member again on many occasions.

When the Minister moved the Second Reading of this Bill he said that he hoped it would bring higher standards into the medical profession, and that it would be a great contribution towards the wellbeing of the common people. He concluded his address in moving words, and I feel encouraged by his approach to the Bill to believe that if constructive suggestions could be made in the Committee stage he would give them his most sympathetic consideration. After all, the purpose of hon. Members on all sides of the House is to consider how best can the public be served. Other speakers have already said this but it should be said again and again. I feel that under this Bill as it now stands, the public in many respects will not be better served but rather they will be worse served. I think it is absolutely tragic that a Measure which is supposed to have as its basis and foundation the report of Lord Dawson, and in the preparation of which the doctors have given their help in the past two decades, should be opposed as it is now by an almost united medical profession.

Hon. Members


Mr. Bevan

indicated dissent

Sir W. Wakefield

The Minister shakes his head and hon. Members say "No, no," but it is a fact that the medical profession are united against it. They feel deeply that the public will not be better served by this Bill as it now stands. In the very brief time at my disposal I am going to give reasons why I believe this to be the case. The first reason is that the privately owned surgeries of today are to disappear and health centres will take their place. The intimacy of the private surgery will go and people will not be able to go round the corner to see their practitioner. They will have to go to the health centre where there will be group practice and many doctors. That will mean that patients will have longer distances to travel. In these health centres there will he formalities, the keeping of records and the loss of any personal, intimate relationship, and this, I think, will result in a worsening of personal service. The doctors will be there in group practice, and the Government cannot convince me that under a State service doctors will be willing to go out in the middle of the night. They will come to these health services from nine to five and then go home. There will be a duty doctor with duty typists and secretaries. When people ring up and notice is given of urgent cases, I do not believe that the same personal service will be given under this State service as is available now, when practitioners are responsible directly to their patients and not paid by the State, as envisaged in this scheme. That is my view and that is the view of many people with whom I have discussed this Bill. Furthermore, because there is no good will—

Mrs. Middleton (Plymouth, Sutton)


Sir W. Wakefield

I have only three or four minutes left and but for that I would gladly give way to the hon. Lady. Because there is no goodwill to maintain, I feel that there is going to be a much more impersonal and less personal service. There is any amount of evidence available on that point. Doctors and dentists during the period of the war went into the Services and had an opportunity of seeing the State service and the private and personal service. One and all say that there is not the same personal regard for patients in a State service that there is in a personal service. There is no use hon. Members shaking their heads. I have got plenty of evidence on it, but I have not the time to give it now. When we come to the Committee stage I hope an opportunity will be given me to prove what I am saying now. As a result of this Bill there will be less quality in the entrants in the medical service. There will be a removal of enterprise, a removal of the taking of risks and responsibility and the carrying out of what a doctor believes to be right in the interests of his patients.

I say this for certain reasons and I am going to give two examples. During the war a young doctor organised a certain service magnificently. He put 60 patients into a place where there should only he 50 beds according to the regulations. A reprimand came through to headquarters in connection with his action. It so happened that, quite accidentally, a distinguished surgeon was there when the reprimand came through to headquarters. He said that that young doctor ought to be highly commended instead of reprimanded for his action. But the doctor was reprimanded because he did not follow the regulations, and instead exercised his right of initiative in the best interests of the patients. In my own constituency a patient was injured by an anti-aircraft shell. Quick work on the knee by a doctor resulted in the knee being saved. That was contrary to the written regulations, and as a result there was a reprimand.

Mr. McGhee (Penistone)

What regulations?

Sir W. Wakefield

If the hon. Member wishes I will give him the date of the incident, the name of the medical practitioner and the precise particulars of the case to which I am referring. What is at the back of all this? Merely this, that in the human relationship between doctor and patient, risk must be taken. It is individual and it is personal, and rules and regulations cannot be laid down by the Minister to cover all those varied, individual instances of attention which are so necessary in the doctor-patient relationship.

It is because I believe that there will be this fundamental alteration in the relationship between doctor and patient that I submit that doing away with the voluntary principle in our great hospitals, with the exception of the teaching hospitals, will be a retrograde step. I believe there will be an undoubted loss in the spirit of service and voluntary help which has been so vital a characteristic of the life of our nation for hundreds of years past. I deeply fear that this Bill, instead of being a great Bill which could immeasurably improve the health of our people, will not lead to the better service and better health which the Minister and everyone wants for the great majority of our people. I deeply regret it, and I hope that before it passes on to the Statute Book Amendments will be made which will remove its grave blemishes, and will make it the kind of Bill which the Minister and all of us want to see made law.

4.21 p.m.

Lieutenant William Griffiths (Manchester, Moss Side)

It is with great pleasure that I rise today, during the early part of May, which has, for our Labour movement, such special significance, to welcome this Bill, which has so much Socialist content. In the very first Clause an obligation is placed upon the Minister to provide, in the health sense, to "each according to his needs." This is a cardinal Socialist principle, and is welcomed by everybody on these benches. To those of my colleagues who feel that some of the concessions which have been made by the Government rather cut across the far-reaching Socialist plan which some had in mind, I would say that we must remember that the Government have to face up to this position as they pass through each stage of the progressive change-over from the social order which we did not create, but with which we have to grapple, and turn into the Socialist society that we want.

I was particularly impressed by that section of my right hon. Friend's speech on Tuesday, in which he drew a clear distinction between consultation and negotiation with outside groups of health workers. When a Bill of this kind is before the House there are many pressure groups at work outside, and I think the Minister is to be congratulated on resisting those sectional interests. After all, our main interest is the interest of the community; the Bill must be a good one for the community. Often, the advice we receive from sectional interests outside is advice given only from their own point of view. In this respect, I would like to refer to a recent meeting of health workers in the city of Manchester, which was attended by a local official of the British Medical Association. At that meeting, one of the Socialist doctors in the audience was dealing with the Association's appeal for £25 from each doctor towards the fighting fund set up to resist the Bill, and was claiming that little support had been received. We were very interested to hear from the representative of the B.M.A. at that meeting that, although he admitted that doctors in the main had not contributed to the fund, nevertheless, extensive financial contributions had been received from outside bodies. This was an indication that the elements represented by hon. and right hon. Members opposite are not specifically interested in health matters, but fear any legislation which is introduced by this Government, and are willing to back any movement to try to discredit this Government.

My particular reason for intervening today is because I am a member of a profession—I am a consulting optician—which is vitally affected by this Bill. In general, we welcome the Bill and we feel that we have a very important part to play. On Tuesday, however, my hon. Friend the Member for Edge Hill (Dr. Clitherow) raised some specific questions concerning my profession, one being the definition of the status of sight-testing opticians, which is not clear in the Bill. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman who winds up the Debate will deal with that point. My right hon. Friend the Minister made a good point on Tuesday when he said he believed that doctors and professional people on the local executive councils, by their participation in administration, were epitomising democratic control in the best sense. I welcome that, but I would point out that sight-testing opticians are not represented on the local executive councils. On the basis of my right hon. Friend's statement, that he wished professional people to take part in administration, I ask the Minister to give consideration to the claim of sight-testing opticians for representation.

The optical practitioner was promised in the White Paper, but is not promised in this Bill, proper professional status. We need an assurance from the Minister on what is meant by that term. By the Bill, the Minister could easily relegate the valuable profession of optical practitioners to a purely menial and auxiliary position. This seems to be supported by the fact that no provision is made for representation on any advisory or other committee, beyond that of the temporary ophthalmic services committees, which are to be abolished as soon as the clinical scheme is considered adequate. The optical profession fear that with the abolition of these temporary committees, the total abolition of the profession might well follow. In the public interest, therefore, I would like the Minister to give us an assurance about our exact status in the scheme and, above all, an assurance that we shall have adequate representation on the appropriate committees. I feel it may well appear that I have been making a very sectional appeal today. That is true, but only to the extent that I feel a case has been made out whereby, without any sacrifice of the warm welcome we give to the Bill, we nevertheless feel that we have a very definite part to play.

4.29 p.m.

Sir Ernest Graham-Little (London University)

I opposed the proposals of the Coalition White Paper on the Health Service two years ago for the same reason that I am opposing this Bill today, except that my opposition now is stronger. I am opposing it because my profession is overwhelmingly resistant to it, especially that part of the profession—the consultant section—for which I a m most qualified to speak. The present Bill differs from the Coalition White Paper in a vitally important matter, namely, the nationalisation of hospitals. The Government claim to have a mandate from the country for a bewildering number of projects, but the nationalisation of hospitals was nowhere mentioned in the programme of any Socialist candidate, and no claim can be made that the country has given a mandate for this Measure. The nationalisation of hospitals, as I propose to show, concerns particularly the consultant section of the profession, and that section has already shown practically universal opposition to the proposal. Socialist candidates and the Socialist Party have made most extravagant promises to the people to supply the fullest measure of specialist and institutional treatment, treatment which was not supplied by the National Health Insurance Acts now in operation. I have even heard of an optimistic charwoman, deluded by these promises, who expressed her confident expectation that she would now be able to call in Lord Horder whenever she wished. [HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"] It would be difficult even for the party opposite to supply Lord Horder to every one of 47,000,000 people who might want him.

Mr. Percy Wells (Faversham)

Why is it always a charwoman who labours under this illusion?

Sir E. Graham-Little

I have promised to be brief in my remarks, and I cannot be brief if I take up every interruption. I shall follow the precedent established yesterday by the Parliamentary Secretary, who persistently refused to give way to anybody except an ex-Cabinet Minister.

In a speech in April, 1943, the Lord Chancellor enunciated the very wise axiom that "if you get a scheme which men think is not fair, that scheme is broken at the start " The present position with regard to the Education Act is an example of the truth of that axiom. The teachers were grievously affronted by several of the conditions imposed by that Act. The result is that there are now 24,000 fewer teachers in the schools than there were in November, 1944. A series of teachers' conferences which have been held during the last week have shown that that development has continued and is increasing in force. The net result will be that when, as the Government have decided, the school leaving age is raised on 1st April, 1947, there will be 400,000 additional pupils, but there will be fewer than 200,000 teachers, as the Minister of Education has confessed. What does that mean? There is a general consensus of opinion among educational experts that a minimum of from 300,000 to 350,000 teachers is required to ensure any satisfactory fulfilment of the Education Act. When 1st April, 1947, comes, there will be at most 180,000 teachers in the schools. I submit that the Education Act has already broken down. Can the Minister of Health improvise doctors in the same way as the Minister of Education is trying to improvise teachers? I think not.

Consultants spend at least ten years in their training, chiefly in voluntary hospitals, and subsequently spend a great part of their time as honorary members of the staff of those hospitals. I have spent 50 years of my life in the closest association with a great voluntary teaching hospital, first as a student, then as a teacher, and finally for 32 years as head of a department. The voluntary hospital is the life of the consultant. It attracts to its service those men and women who are deeply interested in the scientific practice of medicine and in research. It offers this attraction because it offers complete freedom. That freedom will vanish with this Bill That this is fully realised by the consultants was, I think, shown quite incontestably by the facts that were placed before the House on Tuesday last. There are three Royal Colleges—physicians, surgeons and obstetricians—who are qualified to speak for the consultants. They are so qualified because the vast majority of consultants belong to one or other of those bodies. I happen to be at the moment the only Member of the House who is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, and I can confirm the statement that was made on Tuesday last by my right hon. Friend the Member for South Kensington (Mr. Law) as to the reaction of the physicians. I was present at the meeting on 15th April, and I can confirm what my right hon. Friend said. That meeting, which was one of the largest I have ever attended in 40 years as a Fellow, resolved, by an enormous majority—again, one of the biggest majorities I have ever known—to refuse the motion approving the transfer of the ownership of hospitals which had been proposed by the President. That was the reaction of the College of Physicians. The College of Surgeons were even more emphatic in their opposition to nationalisation. The College of Obstetricians was, I think, a little misrepresented in the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for South Kensington. I have before me the resolution which was passed by the College of Obstetricians; it was furnished to me by the President of the College, and it reads: Hospital ownership: That if the ownership of hospitals passed to the State, the College would urge, (a) that the composition and power of the regional boards must be satisfactory from a medical aspect" —

That it is not so satisfactory has been shown, I think, in the speeches from these Benches— (b)that every hospital should have its own committee and management"— Again, that is denied by the Bill— (c)that the endowments of each hospital should be returned to the same hospital for its own use. Perhaps the most serious result of these proposals for the hospitals will be the mortal injury which nationalisation will cause to the prosecution of medical research which, for the last 100 years, has come almost exclusively from the voluntary hospitals. I believe that no other hon. Member who has spoken has drawn attention to this result. I wish to draw the attention of the House to one of the gravest reproaches to be made against the Bill, namely, the ludicrously meagre reference to research. Nine lines of the Bill, in Clause 16, deal with medical research, but 140 lines, in Clause 35, are devoted to devising a number of savage punishments for the doctor who wishes on his retirement to introduce to his patients a successor to his practice, and who accepts a modest premium for exercising that good will Let us see what the Bill says on the subject of medical research. I will quote from the statement in the White Paper, and the White Paper everywhere seeks to give the most favourable interpretation of the Clauses of the Bill. The first sentence strikes me as being rich in humour. It reads: The Minister is also expressly empowered by this Bill to conduct research"— that is, medical research. One might, I submit, as reasonably introduce a Bill expressly empowering the Minister of Health to navigate the "Queen Mary" from Southampton to New York. How diametrically opposed is this conception of medical research dictated from Whitehall to the procedure adopted at voluntary hospitals which have been the sources of medical advance. This procedure, which has produced results that have placed Britain in the very vanguard of advance in the science and practice of medicine, owes its success to the complete freedom which it gives to the staff. Our method is to pick a good man—and voluntary hospitals attract the best men and women—and when found to turn him loose in the wards or the laboratory as the case may be. The idea of directing research from a State Department appears ridiculous to one who has been trained in the voluntary hospitals tradition. As I have said, the man chosen is let loose in the wards or the laboratory and is not subject to any other restriction except that he comes up for reappointment every three to five years, the period varying in different hospitals.

May I cite an example from my own medical school, St. Mary's, where I have been on the staff for 32 years? Forty-three years ago the school decided to ask Almroth Wright, a brilliant Irish graduate who had done notable work as professor of pathology at the Army Medical School at Netley, to institute a new department at St. Mary's. He had had no previous connection with St. Mary's Hospital; his election disproves the contention made by speakers opposite that hospitals always elect their own pupils to the staff. I also was elected to the hospital staff of St. Mary's as a complete outsider from another hospital. Sir Almroth Wright was elected, and he founded the Institute of Pathology which includes the Department of Inoculation. That department very speedily secured an international reputation. Wright's development and perfection of the methods of vaccine-therapy had as its first result the elimination of typhoid fever as one of the principal causes of mortality in the armies of the world. The application of that system has resulted in the comparatively complete removal of that dreadful disease. Wright did much more than that. He established a great school of research and one of his disciples, Sir Alexander Fleming, with the discovery of penicillin has made an advance which, I think, has been quite justly compared to the epoch-making discovery of antiseptic surgery by Lister at a voluntary hospital, the Glasgow Infirmary, of which we had a very moving description by my colleague and friend the hon. Member for the Scottish Universities (Sir J. Graham Kerr) last Tuesday. If the Bill is passed this prosecution of medical research will be killed.

4.45 P.m.

Mr. Stokes (Ipswich)

Much as I should like to take up some of the points made by the hon. Member for London University (Sir E. Graham-Little) I must ask him to excuse me if I refrain from doing so and ignore the normal course of Debate in view of the great time limitation. I have risen in order to seek clarification from the Minister on one particular aspect of the Bill. In doing so I speak on behalf of the Roman Catholic denomination in this country, though I believe I should be right in saying that I am probably expounding the views of all those who have run and founded sectarian hospitals. May I make it perfectly clear that we welcome the Bill and want to make it work, but at the same time we wish to receive some assurance from the Minister that the principles for which we stand shall be properly safeguarded in the management and administration of our voluntary hospitals when they are taken over. I should also like to make it clear that we particularly welcome the Bill because the many millions of people who are of our denomination in this country are for the most part the poorest people, and we believe that under the Bill very great benefits will accrue to them when it becomes fully operative.

There is one point I would stress. We do not seek for a single moment to ask that Catholic hospitals should be provided serviced only by Catholic nurses and doctors, but we know, as every thinking man knows, that vital issues are at stake and that matters concerning the natural laws are involved. All we seek is to see that the moral principles for which we stand are properly safeguarded. May I remind the Minister that many of these sectarian institutions were founded purposely in order that the patients going to them should be able to maintain the customs and principles of their faith? We ask simply that if we cannot be given the same rights and guarantees as the teaching hospitals have under the Bill, we shall receive some specific assurance from the Minister—I hope when he winds up the Debate—that the atmosphere and character of our hospitals shall remain the same, and that, in order to achieve this, steps will be taken to provide in the Bill or in the Regulations that the management committees shall be of the same constitution and shall be given the charge of the administration of the hospital. We do not resist for a moment the idea that the regional committees will have supervision over them, but we do ask that their atmosphere and the character shall be maintained.

The only way we can see the principles for which we stand being assured in the administration of the hospitals is for the committees to remain in the main as they are. If the Minister wants to appoint his own nominee to the committees we have no objection.

Mr. Montague (Islington, West)

Would the hon. Gentleman be a little more explicit? What does he mean by the atmosphere of these hospitals?

Mr. Stokes

I cannot go into the medicinal differences that exist in certain practices, but there are, for instance, the question of birth control and that of abortion. It happens that the Catholic laws in regard to abortion are much the same as the law of the land, but the law of the land is sometimes not observed. In particular, we have hospitals serviced by nursing sisters, nuns, and we feel it highly desirable that the administration committees of these hospitals shall remain in the main of the same character as they are at the present time.

In conclusion, I should like to say this in support of my contention. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies) said yesterday, with regard to charity, that the danger would be that when hospitals were handed over and nationalised the people's willingness to give would dry up. There is a misconception. People mix up "charity" with "generosity." I do not conceive that it is a right method of conducting society that the welfare of people should be dependent upon the willingness or otherwise of other people generously to contribute to their welfare. By all means let them contribute if they want to, but the welfare of the others should not be dependent upon it. My conception of charity is that we should so order our affairs that people have the best of all the possible chances of service, in all conditions. It is because the Bill greatly improves the facilities and provides better conditions than have ever been afforded to the masses of the people of this country, that I welcome it.

4.51 p.m.

Mr. Gerald Williams (Tonbridge)

During the Debate we have heard many specialists and experts, but in the few moments available to me, I want to return to fundamentals, and to get down to the words of the Amendment. I wish to add my voice to those which have spoken for the continuance of the voluntary hospitals. My reason for doing so is that it is unnecessary to do without them The voluntary hospitals have led, in the treatment and diagnosis, as well as in the prevention, of diseases. They are prepared to satisfy the Minister now, that is to say, they are prepared to comply with standards to which they will have to conform and are prepared to have his inspectors down to see that they carry out these standards that the Minister wishes. They are prepared to have patients sent to them by the Minister and to receive payment for them. They will then become self-supporting. Then we shall still have the same hospitals, run by local management, which is what the people want, rather than dictatorship from Whitehall.

The system of voluntary hospitals at the present time is that they run their affairs from year to year. At the end of the year they have an annual meeting and an annual report. The report is sent out for people to look at and discuss. Then the people can come to the annual meeting to criticise. That is democracy. The people are able to throw the managers out if they do not like what the managers are doing. That is what we consider to be real democracy. Many people are proud to serve on those boards. It is a great honour to serve there, and local residents are stimulated to further voluntary effort by the thought that they may be rewarded by managing one of those hospitals one day. To do away with this system is once more to take away the enterprise that has made this country what it has been in the past. Under the Bill, the local management committee will not even have control of their own staff. They will not appoint their own staff. That will leave them in a very peculiar position in regard to the management of the people they employ.

The trusts are to be taken over, and endowments are to be taken from the voluntary hospitals. In many cases the money was left by the dead. It is immoral to the highest degree to use that money for any other purpose than that for which it was left. Many people have been spurred on to greater efforts in order to be able to endow something which was after their own hearts. How many benefactors must be now turning in their graves at the thought of a Socialist Government administering those funds? [Laughter.] Yes, a sufficient number of people must be turning in their graves to be causing a small earthquake. It is robbery of the dead. It is easy for the Minister to say that he has more interest in the living than in the dead, but when he comes to write out his own will, he will surely wish some regard to be paid to what he writes on that document. The dead are unable to be here to defend themselves. They are unable to demand their money back because it is being used for other purposes. The principle is wrong.

Another point about finance is that it is very desirable that the local management committee should be able to spend at their own discretion. The moment standard salaries, standard instruments and standard apparatus are laid down, initiative will be killed for the local people. The competition which exists today to make one's own hospital perhaps a little better than the one next door by means of local initiative will also be killed. Complaints will be coming in. Complaints there will surely be. The complaints will be local, and the management committees will be able to reply: "We receive our instructions from the regional board. We will pass the complaint on to them." The regional board will pass the complaints on to the Ministry. Dozens of letters will be written and dozens of files will be opened, and time will roll on. Probably no satisfact on from the complaints will be obtained in the end. Or even more likely, since the hospitals will be a Government concern, Members of Parliament will be worried in future by complaints, and will have to ask Questions in the House. The business of the House will then be held up even more than it is at present. The voluntary hospitals invariably settle the complaint on the spot. Vaccination has been mentioned. Under the Bill, people will be left to contract in, in order to be vaccinated. At the present moment anyone who does not wish to be vaccinated can contract out. That system has kept this country more free from smallpox than any other country in the world. Why can we not keep the system of contracting out, instead of introducing the system of contracting in?

Many hon. Members on this side of the House have regretted that terms under which the doctors will have to work have not been laid down which would have enabled the doctors more easily to say what they thought about the Bill. Hon. Members on both sides of the House expect their doctors to be responsible to them and not to the State. It is no use denying that in future doctors will be civil servants, or very nearly civil servants. The ideal is to have your family doctor round to your own house, to have a chat with him, and to take his advice, and then to decide what you want to do. You may want to take a risk, even of dying, by having a very severe operation. Other people may be inclined to have a nature cure. A doctor who is under State instructions may be able to give neither, for the fear of the consequences. He will have to treat his patients according to the State formula, in case questions are asked about the results afterwards. Doctors and patients in this country up till now have been brought up on initiative. Patients will become disgruntled, and doctors will be discouraged as the result of this Bill, if they are to be forced to use nothing but Government prescriptions. Some bad doctors may be pleased at the thought of having a guaranteed salary whether they give good service or bad, but I still believe that there are many good doctors in this country for I have not met one so far who is in favour of the Bill.

5.0 p.m.

Wing-Commander Millington (Chelmsford)

I am delighted to have caught your eye, Mr. Speaker, immediately after the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, because of one phrase which he used in the course of his criticism of the Bill. He said that the dead are unable to come here and plead their case. I say that quite properly the case for the dead is being pleaded in this Debate by the natural successors of the dead, the Conservative Party. When this Bill was first printed I read it through—unlike somebody I heard speaking this afternoon—and not just the White Paper, and I felt deeply sorry for His Majesty's Opposition. The duty of the Opposition is to oppose, but unfortunately the Bill has been cast in a mould which reflects the will of the people of this country at the moment. The people of the country are happy about it, and the job of the Opposition is made correspondingly more difficult.

I want to refer to a speech for the Opposition made very briefly and rapidly by the hon. Member for St. Marylebone (Sir W. Wakefield). If the Conservative Party presumes to come to this place and to represent the interests of the doctors, let them have better advocates than this hon. Member. He came in front of you, Mr. Speaker, and this House and accused the medical profession of a profligate disregard of their duties and responsibilities towards their patients. He said that he felt convinced that when this Bill becomes law doctors will not go out on an emergency case after their normal duty hours. He felt convinced that the patient would not get the same kind of service and attention under this Bill and under a State service as we now see in the present relationship. The tenor of the Opposition all along has been that the traditional relationship of doctor and patient, built up over centuries of private enterprise, is going to be disrupted and destroyed.

I would like to ask any who really feel this deeply whether they have been sick or disabled during the last seven years, in the Services, for example, and whether they have seen the unfortunate body of men who come round this House about twice a month and are receiving medical attention from the State at the rehabilitation hospital at East Grinstead. Do hon. Members of the Conservative Party dare to suggest that these disabled ex-Service men, who are receiving the best conceivable medical attention, the best that science can give them, would get better attention if they had a cash relationship between themselves and the doctor?

I welcome this Bill because I believe it is cast in the noblest mould of any Bill that has come before this House, at any rate, in the last 25 years. The first main reason why it should be accepted by all right minded and right thinking people is that it is a total Bill, under which everybody will qualify for equal benefit. That is the difference between this Bill and the Bill being piloted through Committee under the ægis of the Minister of National Insurance. There is no qualification whatever, other than that of being a citizen of Great Britain and of being in some medical distress. I welcome the Bill because of that broad human principle, that mould and concept in which the Bill is cast. I believe that sectional interests, as they are called, have been whipped up quite deliberately by people who stand to benefit personally by whipping them up and by politicians whose duty it is to oppose the Government in all its legislation, and that in fact the case has not been fairly presented to the rank and file of the medical profession. The more they have the Bill in front of them, the more they are able to examine its Clauses, and the more they are able to understand where they as individuals are going to stand inside this new health system, the wider is their acceptance not only of the general broad principle, but of the ordinary detailed working of the scheme.

I was amused when listening to the Minister on Tuesday by what seemed to me a philosophical conflict in his mind. He referred to the organisations of the medical profession as vested interests—I believe I am quoting him correctly—but a little later, after he had mentioned the natural Socialist hostility towards vested interests interfering in the formulating of correct legislation, he also made it quite clear that there is another Socialist principle, that if we are to have democracy in industry—medicine is an industry—we must have a strong element of workers' control. So we have, on the one hand, doctors being treated by the Minister as vested interests, and, on the other hand, being treated as the workers in the industry and being allowed — and I welcome it — a very fair participation.

Participation—I ask doctors to remember this because, particularly in the much vaunted hospital services, they have never had it before. What has been the complaint from any young progressively minded doctor giving service in a provincial voluntary or provincial municipal hospital? He meets the other local doctors, and they decide that £3,000 or £5,000 spent on a certain piece of equipment would do the health of the neighbourhood immeasurable good. The doctors themselves, although they may make representations, are not directly represented on the finance committees of the majority of those hospitals, and it is the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker who reject the claims of the doctors for financial assistance on the grounds that with the present system of raising money that amount of money, however great the need, cannot be raised. Now doctors will share the responsibility of allocating funds.

I want to raise two other points, one of which has been mentioned and one which has not, for the Minister's consideration. The first is that, while it is true, as an hon. Member said a few moments ago, that the Minister has covered the whole question of medical research in a few lines in Clause 16, I would like him to give some specific hope that a positive impetus will be given to research into such grievous things as the incidence of cancer, tuberculosis, venereal disease, rheumatism and the like. The power in that small Clause rests in the hands of the Minister. He has the power now to grant money for research, but it would give pleasure and consolation to people who are themselves sufferers or who have near and dear relatives who are sufferers, if some positive word were given that it is the intention of the Minister to encourage research, particularly in these directions.

The other point is that I was surprised, knowing the mind from which this Bill emanated, to discover that the nursing profession is rather summarily dismissed in the short Clause 25, which says that local authorities are required, either through voluntary organisations or by directly employed nurses, to develop domiciliary nursing services. There is an organisation in this country with which the Minister must have been in contact, which is an excellent organisation for at least laying down the standard. That is what has been missing previously in district nursing—a standard, so that one can get the same kind of domiciliary nursing when one goes from one county to the next. The Minister will know that I refer to the Queen's Institute of District Nursing. I would make it clear that, in nursing in particular, standardisation must mean standardisation upwards, because of the lack of finance and of the administrative difficulties that the nursing profession has met, up to now, particularly in rural areas. I would suggest to the Minister that this organisation could lay down standards and examinations, and is well qualified to do the work of testing so that there will be an improvement in the status of the domiciliary nurse—an important part of preventive medicine, as I am sure he will agree—and so that we may see an influx of girls into this profession.

I end on a personal note. This is the first opportunity I have had to speak in this House since I made what is to me, but probably to nobody else, a very important political decision. I believe it is imperative, because of the economic con- dition of this country, that everybody who has good will—particularly everybody who has followed the Socialist faith for any number of years—should give every support possible to the present Administration. I feel particularly that the Cabinet is demonstrating its faith in its principles and its high courage in bringing legislation of this character on to the Statute Book at a time when it might be excusable for it to put off the reorganisation and the expenditure until some future date Therefore, ten days ago I resigned from the party which heretofore I represented in this House and I would like, with your permission, Sir, to announce that in future I shall lose my unique position and be one of a vast horde amongst whom I shall be very proud to serve.

5.I2 p.m.

Mr. J. S. C. Reid (Glasgow, Hillhead)

We have now come in this country to a time which gives us a great opportunity for a far-reaching advance in the prevention and treatment of illness. For a long time, for obvious reasons, it has not been possible to make progress. Now it is possible, and if I were asked to put the present position in a nutshells I would say that, at their best, our medical services in this country today are unsurpassed anywhere in the world. I would say that the average is very high but, on the other hand, there are a number of hospitals and other services which have really never had a fair chance and which are below standard, and there are a great many people who have not got full access to all services before illness breaks out, or in the early stages of their illness. Therefore we have to undertake a double task. We have to bring up to standard those services which are below standard, and we have very greatly to broaden the existing services.

We are all agreed about those aims. We have been agreed before the Election and since. What we are discussing this afternoon is the means of achieving those aims. How are we to expand the existing services so far as is necessary without losing any of their essential qualities? On that matter I agree entirely with the line taken by the White Paper of 1944, where it says near the beginning: There is no question of having to abandon bad services and to start afresh. Reform in this field is not a matter of making good what is bad, but of making better what is good already. That carries, I think, the assent of the Government as well as of ourselves. We are in a realm here where cold efficiency is not enough. We must remember that we are dealing with a profession which is more individualist in its outlook than any other, and rightly so, because the business of medical men is not merely to treat ailments; their business is to treat patients, patients with natural idiosyncrasies magnified by their illness in many cases. We must remember also that medicine is an art, and that art does not, in general, take kindly to regimentation. We must remember that the art of medicine has still long way to go before it reaches perfection, and that progress in the past has depended to a very large extent on individuals or small groups of men, men very often who would never fit in comfortably to any regimented system, and we must rely on men of that kind for future progress also.

Of course, we shall require more detailed, more elaborate organisation, but let us make it as unobtrusive as possible, let us make it as little rigid as possible. I was very much struck, as I am sure were all hon. Members who heard him, by the way in which the hon. Member for South Tottenham (Mr. Messer) dealt with this matter in his most impressive speech, and I think it worth while to refer for one moment to what he said. He divided the social services into two : those which affect people in the mass and those which affect the individual. He said with regard to the latter: These are important not merely because of what is done, but because of the way in which it is done. They are inportant because you can get mechanical efficiency which still does not do all that is required."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th April, 1946; Vol. 422, C. 140.] Then he uttered a warning against uniformity. In this matter I think we should beware lest we lose the substance of the human spirit for the shadow of administrative efficiency. We are dealing in this Bill with an immense field. We are setting out, of common consent, to achieve a comprehensive service, comprehensive not only in the sense that it includes everybody—the Bill does that—but also in the sense that it includes all services—the Bill does not do that. Not that I make any special complaint of that, because it may be impracticable.

The Minister in his remarkable speech, if he will allow me to say so, sketched existing deficiencies in some detail. I do not propose to traverse that ground because, broadly speaking, I agree with his diagnosis, but where I am afraid I part company with him is in his method of treatment, in the developments which he foreshadows. Unfortunately, I have no time to deal with the multitude of important matters which we shall have to discuss on the Committee stage. I cannot even enumerate them all—dentistry, eyesight, hearing, mental health, clinics, health visitors, home nursing, the school medical service—although it is not in the Bill, we must consider it—preventive and environmental services. All these matters will be discussed, I have no doubt, in a friendly and cooperative spirit in Committee, because we welcome the Minister's assurance that on all these points he is willing to consider Amendments on their merit, and I can assure him we shall take full advantage of his offer to do so. I trust that there will be no question of our having to hurry unduly when we come to the Committee stage. We have had nearly three days' discussion here. Obviously that is not too long, although I do not complain that it is inadequate. But there is a great deal which has not been even touched upon. I hope that upstairs we shall be able to discuss details adequately, but not excessively.

I propose to deal with two particular issues on which there really is a fundamental cleavage between us on matters of grave importance and, I think, of deep principle. The two matters to which I refer are the position of the general practitioners and their patients under the new scheme, and the position of the hospitals. In regard to the general practitioners, I believe that the vital thing for the patient's sake is that the general practitioner's loyalty should be solely to his patients and not in any respect to any service or to the State. I believe he should be responsible to his patients and to his conscience. If his patients believe in him he should need to fear no man, but if his patients do not believe in him he should not be able to fall back on official support to sustain him. That is the principle which ought to run through this matter, but it is a principle which I am afraid is gravely imperilled, as I shall show, by the provisions of this Bill.

We agree that the general practitioner requires more assistance. We agree that he needs more diagnostic facilities We agree that there must be speedier access for his patients to specialists. We agree that in many cases he ought to have better access to new medical knowledge than he has. I do not think the Minister greatly overstated the matter when he spoke of the "loneliness" of medical practitioners. On the other hand, we are not altogether agreed about general practitioners' maldistribution. The provisions of this Bill in regard to general practitioners go very much further than is necessary to achieve the objects to which I have just referred, and in doing so they endanger most seriously the doctor's freedom and, therefore, they endanger the patient's interest.

I will deal in some detail with the question of maldistribution, because so much is made to hang on it, surprisingly much. We were given some figures, and I cannot help feeling that they are a little misleading. Not now, but later on, I will ask that we should have some information on this question. During the war, there was a very elaborate comb-out of doctors for the Services. If the maldistribution were as bad as has been alleged, one would think that hardly any doctors would have been taken from the under doctored areas and a great many from the over doctored areas. I have no figures, but I suspect that that was not quite so and that if we looked into particular districts we would find reasons which would go some way at least to explaining the apparent disparity and disproportion. I think that some time we should have some information about that. I do not want to claim that there was no maldistribution; no doubt there was, but that was at a time when only a part of the population were comprehended in the panel service.

Now we are to have 100 per cent. available under the new scheme for capitation fees. That being so, industrial areas will become attractive areas for doctors and it is only in the rural areas that there is likely to be much risk of under doctoring. I agree that there may well be a case for a basic salary in some of the rural areas. There may be some other difficult areas. I do not know, but if it turns out that there are, there would be a case for a salary. I believe that the proportion of areas in which a salary would be necessary to attract a sufficient number of doctors is comparatively small and it may be very small. To make a basic salary general is wholly unnecessary and, on general principles, very objectionable. Indeed, there seems to be no reason for making it general, except that it paves the way for an ultimate adoption of a salaried service.

The next thing which hangs on maldistribution is the general power which is being taken to prevent the movement of doctors when it is alleged that any area is sufficiently staffed already, and to select which doctor may fill a vacancy in such an area. My reaction to this proposal is not only that it is objectionable, but that it is wholly unnecessary. It is unworkable. How is the quota to be arranged? Obviously, if this is to be worked out, it must mean that the committee which is working it has to decide that a certain area ought to have an establishment of 10, 12, five or six, or whatever the size of the area calls for. How is that number to be worked out? If it is done by population, one will get very much worse maldistribution than under the old system, but otherwise it can only be done by local investigation. Only one committee is being set up in the whole of England and Wales for this matter. It cannot be done, and if there were any necessity for it there would have to be much more elaborate machinery than is provided for in this Bill.

Surely the proper policy is not to seek to prevent doctors from going to certain places, but to make it attractive for them to go to the places where they are wanted. The whole of Labour policy is, as I understand it, not to prevent workers moving, not to direct them, but to attract them. That seems to me to be a much better way than the way which is proposed in this Bill. I cannot understand why it is not sufficient to attract the doctors to the under doctored areas by means of salaries or other inducements and to leave well alone otherwise. I cannot believe that the deficiency of the number of doctors in this country is going to be so enormous as to need anything more than the salary as an attraction where that may be required.

There is another serious objection to this proposal—there are many but I will mention one only. It will make partnership extremely difficult because the partner can no longer select his new partner. He will be foisted on him by the committee, and the "loneliness" of which the right hon. Gentleman complained will, I am afraid, not decrease if this goes on. Finally, on this matter, there is the prohibition of the sale of practices It is very expensive and quite unnecessary if the power is not maintained to prevent people from going where they want. I suspect the real reason is not that it is made necessary by the power of selection—I will not call it direction; the real reason is because the right hon. Gentleman thinks, as he said on Tuesday, that it is an evil thing in itself. I do not propose to argue this matter fully; there is not time; but it occurs to me that that is an afterthought, for a great many of the right non. Gentleman's colleagues did not appear to think that quite recently, and he does not seem to think it now about dentists.

What happens when the practice is sold? In a great many cases a number of patients change to a new doctor before they even see the successor. If the successor does not prove to command confidence the practice vanishes in a surprisingly short time. Patients are very well able to exercise their right of choice, and therefore the objection which is commonly stated on the benches opposite really has no substance. This matter, added to what I said a moment ago, makes the maintenance of partnerships, and indeed the appointment of assistants, extremely difficult, because no man will know, in face of this elaborate penal condition in Clause 35, whether he is safe to make a partnership agreement, because he is liable to a £500 fine or three months' imprisonment if the consideration he gives to his new partner is substantially less than the partner's services might reasonably have been expected to he worth. What is to determine the meaning of that vague phrase? I ask the Minister, in this matter, to be willing to consider Amendments most carefully.

Turning to the question of health centres, I have the gravest doubt whether they will be acceptable to most patients. I believe that we should, wherever we can, give people what they want and not what we think they ought to have. Therefore, although I am quite prepared to agree that there should be experiment, and extensive experiment, in this matter, I beg the Minister not to launch out into a wholesale programme for the establishment of these centres until he has proved whether or not they are what the patients want. Summing up the position, I want to see diagnostic facilities at a reasonable distance from the surgeries, I want to see cooperation, I want to see encouragement of partnership, not discouragement. I want to see refresher courses for general practitioners, which have not been mentioned. I do not think this Bill helps in that respect.

Mr. Bevan

It does indeed. I attach the utmost importance to refresher courses, and reference is made, both in the White Paper and the Bill, to the establishment of post-graduate medical courses.

Mr. Reid

I do not think the point of controversy between us attaches to that point. I hope I did not convey the impression that the Minister was against refresher courses. What I intended to say was that they are one of the things I want to see, and that they can be provided without the objectionable Clauses in this Bill. All the objects I have mentioned can be achieved without the objectionable parts of this Bill.

What will be the position under what I have called the objectionable Clauses? A doctor will have a basic salary. He will not have any goodwill of his own, he will not have any freedom of movement without the permission of a central committee, he will not have any surgery in many cases—all steps in the direction of a wholetime State service. This Bill, as has already been pointed out, enables the Minister to go, by regulation, at least nine-tenths of the way towards a full time salaried State medical service. How is the Bill to be used in this matter? The Minister's language in this matter was very instructive, because the Minister is a master of English, and knows how to introduce qualifications when he wishes to do so. He does not introduce them unnecessarily. In moving the Second Reading of this Bill he said. in regard to this matter: Some of my hon. Friends on this side of the House are in favour of a full salaried service. I am not. I do not believe that the medical profession is ripe for it.…

A little later he said: Therefore, the main source at the moment through which a general practitioner will obtain his remuneration will be capitation."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th April, 1946; Vol. 422, C. 55.] That has given us fair notice that as soon as matters ripen, as soon as the conditions of this moment are past, we shall depart from this system in the direction of a full time salaried medical service. Therefore, let those outside this House who do not, perhaps cannot, because there is no room in the newspapers. follow our discussions in great detail, take note that the Minister is out for a full time salaried service as soon as he feels he can impose that upon the country.

Mr. Bevan

There is all the difference in the world between plucking fruit when it is ripe and plucking it when it is green.

Mr. Reid

Some people's ideas of ripeness vary tremendously. The Minister may prove to be an adept at forcing the plant. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to be specific about this. The policy of the Labour Party, as expressed in April, 1943, in their pamphlet "National Service for Health" was this: In the Labour Party's opinion it is necessary that the medical profession should be organised as a national, full-time salaried, pensionable service. Is that still Labour Party policy? It is of vital importance that we should know. The right hon. Gentleman can scarcely have any difficulty in answering that easy question. If he says "No" we shall welcome it. If he says "Yes," or if he does not say anything—because there could be only one reason for keeping silent—to what does that lead? The Parliamentary Secretary was very frank about this yesterday. He made it quite clear that freedom of choice and a whole time salaried service could not co-exist. There must be a choice between them, because if there is a full time salaried service the whole time men must obviously be fully occupied or fairly fully occupied, and if they are unpopular doctors they might be transferred to another area, but ultimately some patients will have to be found for them.

Obviously, we cannot keep freedom of choice with a full time medical service. The Parliamentary Secretary frankly admitted that. Is it, therefore, Labour Party policy that when the time comes we shall abolish freedom of choice, and shall see the Government attaching patients, against their will, to doctors who cannot attract patients for themselves? That seems necessarily to be implied in official Labour Party policy It is well that the country should understand that. Of course, if the right hon. Gentleman can tell us that his party have had second thoughts on the matter and are not now going to support a whole time salaried service but are going to stop where the right hon. Gentleman said he would start, that is a different matter. I ask the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, to be extremely specific on this point.

I pass from that to the other branch of my remarks, which concerns hospitals. I start again by asking what is wrong with the present position. I think there are four heads under which any existing deficiencies may be grouped. There are some hospitals which are very bad because they are wholly out of date. They are largely local authority hospitals which have never had a proper chance for renovation or replacement. That is nobody's fault. Secondly, there are some small hospitals, which are rather too ambitious, I agree, although I think the right hon. Gentleman perhaps elaborated a little too much on that. They are not big enough to be fully independent. Thirdly, there is some unnecessary overlapping of services. The fourth and largest matter of all, I think, is that there are very many gaps which must be filled. What are mostly required for this purpose are money and time to build up the services.

We are all agreed that money is not to stand in the way. I am glad the Minister did not suggest that this is to be a free service. It is not. About one third of the cost is to be paid by the weekly stamp which we have all to use, and about two thirds of the cost will be paid by the taxpayer. It will cost a lot but it will be worth it. How are all these improvements to be organised? The doctors were pioneers in this matter. They gave us their views a long time ago. We believe there must be an organisation at regional level. We are not altogether in agreement about the size of the regions. We say it should not be an executive organisation. It should be a planning organisation. If it is made executive it is quite impossible for the men of standing we want to put on it to have the time to carry out the necessary work. Therefore, the necessary executive work must be left to civil servants or the like. That necessarily means that the executive work must be run by rules and controls with a certain amount of red tape. That cannot be avoided in a large region. The suggestion that planning cannot be divorced from execution is, in my view, without any substance at all. To begin with, the first planning will have to be done by a body which has never carried out any executive duties, a body which has come together for the first time. Why they should have to carry out the execution of their plan I do not know. Indeed, neither does the Parliamentary Secretary know because he told us yesterday that the proposal was to pass the execution over to smaller bodies in order to preserve the local character and interest. Does that mean that real control is to be passed over to the local committee? If so, it is quite new and very welcome information. On the other hand, does it mean there is to be some divided responsibility for execution, with part of the executive functions to remain with the regional body, and part with the local body? If that is the picture, it is about the worst possible set-up that can be imagined. I hope the right hon. Gentleman, again, will have second thoughts.

We say that the plan ought to settle local units. A large or medium-sized hospital, either by itself or with satellite smaller hospitals, would be a very appropriate unit. Hospitals which are too small to be a unit by themselves must, of course, be linked in some degree at least, and not necessarily all in the same way, with some other hospital in order to form an appropriate unit. We are all agreed about that, although I think the disadvantages of the small hospital can readily be exaggerated. Everyone here knows of small hospitals which have done their job admirably. There are certain difficulties. Let us not exaggerate them. We must preserve some measure of independence. Having got the unit, one then gets the board of governors. They must be an executive board of governors who have the responsibility for spending money and who can settle policy in that hospital. They may require to be broadened from their existing form. They may require to be set up in some way where there is a large group of municipal hospitals. A board is required with responsibilities which will attract men of standing. Then it is necessary to lay down the task which the unit has to perform. Minimum standards should be laid down and provision made for inspection and control, but the responsibility must be fastened fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the board of governors of the local hospital. That is an essential and most necessary departure from the scheme outlined in the Bill. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will think again about that.

I give one example of how I think that would improve matters We all know that the recruitment of nurses is extremely difficult. I ask the House to consider whether we are more likely to recruit the right type and number of nurses, if they can join a local unit with an individuality, tradition, and prestige, or if they have to join a regional or national service and to be subject to transfer here, there and everywhere. Surely, all experience shows that it is the unit with the tradition rather than the big national service which attracts nurses. In this matter we must avoid remote control. It is not so much a question of the ownership—although there is no reason for the change of ownership—it is the control by the local board of governors, which is the essential thing.

I pass to the subject of endowments. In the past endowments have been diverted from their original purpose only for one or other of two reasons, either because it would be wasteful to apply them to their original purpose, or because it is impracticable to apply them in that way any longer. Can anybody say that either of these tests could be satisfied with regard to the endowments with which we are dealing? Nobody has said so yet and I do not think anybody can say that. If that case could have been made it would have been the most obvious case of all. I do not want to pay too much attention to a phrase but I did not much like the right hon. Gentleman's phrase about "the caprice of private charity". I thought at least it was liable to misconception. Is it so very wrong that people should aid their ailing fellow men? Is it that all persons who are in need of assistance should derive that assistance solely from the taxpayers through the Government? There have been indications that some such idea as that was in mind, and I hope it is not really the view of the Government.

If it is not the view, there is no justification for what is being done with regard to these endowments. Is it suggested that the real reason is that there should be equality all over? If that is the reason, then why leave the endowments of the teaching hospitals, and thereby defeat equality? If it is the idea to encourage people to make gifts to regions, whereby a rich region will not have equality with a poor region, then it is hopelessly illogical. If the Minister says that everything must be equal and uniform, then his Bill is all wrong. If he says that there is nothing wrong with teaching hospitals maintaining their endowments, why should not any other hospital also maintain its endowments? I hope that. here again, the right hon. Gentleman will realise that the argument is against him, and will give way.

Now a word with regard to the local authority hospitals. I could understand an argument for taking over the whole of the local authority public health services, though I should disagree with it. But I cannot understand on what principle of sanity the Minister is to split the public health services in two, with the hospitals under one regime, and all other public health services under another. The matter of maternity and child welfare has already been thrashed out. I refer to it only as the best example of the confusion which will undoubtedly occur if this proposal goes through. I find that even more alarming than the proposals themselves are the arguments by which they are supported. If the right hon. Gentleman's argument is right—I have not the time to read it from his speech on Tuesday—it applies with just as great force to education, and with almost as great force to many other local authority services. Does the right hon. Gentleman really mean that this is to be the beginning of the destruction of local democracy, because, if he really means his argument and intends to apply it logically, that is where it leads. We believe that local democracy should not be attacked in this way and that the Minister's argument is a thoroughly bad one. There is no difficulty in arranging the appropriate finance, if we have the good will to do so.

I would like to comment on the form of the Bill. Why is so much being left to regulations? Why is the House being asked to give the Government a blank cheque in matters of such enormous importance? Is the scheme ready or is it not? If the scheme is ready, why should the Government be afraid to put it in the Bill and tell us about it? If it is not ready, and it has proved so difficult to get ready that it has not been decided yet, how can the Government tell us that this Bill is going to work? I think that even at the risk of some little delay, if this scheme is not ready, the Government ought to get their scheme into workable form before they come to this House to ask for its approval. Why is there all this centralisation and this preference for centralised power and bureaucracy against decentralised administration and responsibility? Is it just grasping after power, or is it some belief that uniformity and efficiency are same thing? I cannot see any third reason to justify this aggregation of powers and duties at the centre, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to tell us why the Government have adopted this highly bureaucratic, and, indeed, totalitarian, method of approach. The idea seems to be that we must all keep in step, and that nobody is to move forward in one step of progress, until all can move together. If that is so, it is a thoroughly bad idea.

In conclusion, may I say it is with the greatest regret that I find myself compelled to vote against this Bill? The Bill could have done so much. Agreement was so nearly reached. The provisions, threshed out with the help of the medical profession and others, were so nearly adequate, that it was really unnecessary for the right hon. Gentleman to introduce what he has introduced.

Mr. Bevan


Mr. Reid

I cannot think of any other reason why so much has been cast away except political motives. If the Government pursue this course, if the Minister persists in this idea that he always knows best, I am afraid that we, on this side of the House, must mark what we think the loss of a very great opportunity by our votes in the Lobby tonight.

5.57 P.m.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Arthur Greenwood)

We have listened to an exhibition of logic-chopping which has not added much to the argument, and I am bound to say, at the outset of my speech, how sorry I feel for the Opposition. They have been in office so long that they are now in a semi-comatose condition. The position which they are now facing is a position in which they have a good deal to learn I have never known an Opposition so feeble on so great an issue as the Opposition has been in this Debate. I say that this is a great Measure. Had I, in 1929, as Minister of Health in a minority Government, had the majority which is behind me today, I would have introduced a Measure on these lines with the greatest pleasure and enthusiasm.

Hon. Members seem to think—and a good many of my right hon. and learned Friend's points were directed to this—that this Bill is something final. Labour policy is never final. [Laughter.] Yes, I know the policy of the Opposition is final, but it is dead. This is a developing policy, and my right hon. Friend, as soon as this Bill is on the Statute Book, will, in collaboration with the medical profession, about which hon. Members opposite seem to have so low an opinion, and with the hospital authorities, establish a partnership to work out in detail how this great Measure is to operate in the years to come. The Minister is under no illusion that, once the Bill is on the Statute Book, the scheme will spring into life and begin to operate. Indeed, no. When the right hon. and learned Gentleman asks me about the future of doctors, I do not regard myself as being called upon to subject myself out of that courtesy which is natural to me—in these days at any rate—to a catechism on what is the Labour Party's policy.

We do not see the end of this scheme. It is only a party which lives in the past that can pretend it sees the end of any kind of scheme. Of course this is a developing policy, and we shall march on to greater and greater public service by the medical profession. What was published by my party in 1943, to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman referred, we of course stand by We have never repealed any of our policy, and we shall continue to march on in the light of that policy.

There are some really major issues involved. The speeches that have been made in this Debate by hon. Members opposite are an insult to the medical profession. What they say, in effect, is that, unless doctors are allowed to buy and sell practices like hucksters in the market place, and unless they can retain their private enterprise, they are not going to be good public servants. I deny that. In the public hospitals of this country today there are full-time salaried men who never earn a guinea in fees. Is anybody going to suggest that they are bad doctors because there is not the motive of personal gain? I do not believe it, and I say that the younger doctors, who do not want to scramble and save money with which to buy practices and many of whom have served in the Forces, are public-spirited men who are prepared to serve the public without the incentive of being able to buy or sell practices or go running round with a good bedside manner to collect more and more patients. I do not believe what hon. Members have suggested of the medical profession.

As regards hospitals, the voluntary hospitals in this country played a very great part in the development of the hospital service when the central and local government authorities were unfamiliar with it and careless of the responsibility which they ought to have undertaken. The truth about the voluntary hospitals is that, under our social security scheme, they will not need to have flag days every day to raise the resources necessary for their conduct, or their administration, or for what is becoming more and more expensive, their equipment. It is inevitable now, and we should recognise, though with great thanks and deep regard for what they have done, that the life of the voluntary hospital system of this country is drawing to its close. The right hon. and learned Gentleman complained about regulations. He asked whether we had had the scheme worked out. I have told him that this is a living programme; we shall go on working it out and we shall go on improving on it. This is not finality. I is perfectly obvious that, with a complex scheme of this kind, wide powers of regulation must be given to the Minister. I know that the Opposition do not like it, but they will have to take a lot they do not like in this Parliament. Other times, other manners; other Governments, other men. Of course, we take our own point of view about that. It is impossible, in a Bill of this kind, to cover every conceivable contingency which may arise in respect to every hospital in the country. All of them exist under different conditions. It will be my right hon Friend's duty, in collaboration with all concerned, to make regulations which will fit the circumstances of our hospital system or the terms of employment of medical men. and so on. We have had the criticism that this Bill is not positive enough. My hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Radcliffe (Mr. A. W. J. Greenwood), whose maiden speech I listened to with great interest the other evening, made that point, and other hon. Members have made it too. This is a constructive and positive scheme, and a complete public health policy cannot be put in any single Measure. Our public health policy has grown up bit by bit in the most curious and haphazard way. People do not regard the question of sewerage, water supplies and drains as part of a public health service but in fact, it is. All that we are doing in this Bill fits into our policy for dealing with the environmental aspects of public health, together with research—to which reference has been made—and every other aspect of it, quite apart from treatment. We have gone a long way in the last 100 years. One hundred years ago London was virtually an undrained cesspool. I am sorry to say that in the presence of the Lord President of the Council, although, of course, he was not here at the time and I am not accusing him of any responsibility for it. The Thames, which flows just outside this Chamber, was a foul and stinking river, and often enough it was so foul that hon. Members could not sit in a Standing Committee room on the side of the House facing the river. We have marched on since then and this complex health system, to which all parties in this House have made their contribution—I freely admit that—has arrived at a stage when we have to take a big step forward, a step which, unfortunately, in my view, has been too long delayed. We are embarking on it now with considerable hope of success.

Let me deal with some of the points which were raised. I take, first, the question of the maldistribution of general practitioners. I do not know what the right hon. and learned Gentleman's method of dealing with the matter would be, but it is clear that, if one cares for the health of the people, one must see that doctors are fairly well distributed round the country. If there is to be a little direction, and if it is a public-spirited service, which I believe it to be, then, I think, that direction would be gladly accepted by the doctors. What is the position today? I have had a case given to me today. In the South Division of Bristol, which has one of the biggest single hous- ing estates in the country and has a population of 34,000, there is not one resident medical man. Efforts to induce people to go have so far failed. In the town of Taunton, which is not far away and has a population of approximately 40,000, there are 56 registered medical practitioners. This is what freedom has meant. It has meant that in a growing housing estate there is no doctor, and in a small town—true, they may be serving more than 40,000 inhabitants; I do not wish to be unfair and overstate my case—there are 56 medical practitioners making a living somehow, no doubt out of these small farmers whose wealth we do not appreciate.

Mr. Prescott (Darwen)

Is there any significance in the first example which the right hon. Gentleman quoted, of a local authority housing estate? Is it possible that there is no provision for a doctor to go there?

Mr. Greenwood

Until now there was no authority to order a doctor to go there.

Mr. Willink

I think I heard the right hon. Gentleman say, "Until now there was no authority to order a doctor to go." Are we to understand that under this Bill there will be authority to order a doctor to go?

Mr. Greenwood

If I remember the exact words I used, I think I said, "If to ensure the proper distribution of doctors there is to be some direction"—and it may very well be the case if we are going to have housing estates without doctors—"in my view, the medical profession will accept it."

Mr. Henry Strauss (Combined English Universities)

I would like to put this question to the right hon. Gentleman. He said there is no power under existing Statutes. Is it not a fact that there has been power since 1911 for the Minister to make any arrangements he likes for the provision of a doctor, in any area where the Minister is not satisfied that there is proper medical provision?

Mr. Greenwood

I am prepared to follow that point, but I doubt whether the hon. and learned Gentleman is right in his statement of fact. I am certain that such powers as do exist are not adequate to deal with the problem.

My hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes) raised the question of Catholic hospitals. Where a hospital, transferred under the Bill, has any particular denominational background or associations that link it with some particular religious organisation, it is my right hon. Friend's intention to preserve the character of that institution. My right hon. Friend informs me that this can be done not only by prescribing the relevant features of the hospital, including staffing and general administration, but also in the selection of the personnel of the local management committee which will be concerned with the hospital in the future. It is really part of my right hon. Friend's intention that the peculiar character and personality of hospitals should, so far as possible, be respected and preserved, and I am sure my hon. Friend will be satisfied with that statement.

Then the question of opticians was raised. The intention is to give them their full and proper place in the new service, first in the interim supplementary eye service on the lines on which they have taken part in the national health service in the past, and secondly in the much more elaborate and effective ophthalmic clinic service which we intend to develop as part of our hospital and specialist services. I can assure hon. Members that the Minister is only too anxious to cooperate with the opticians in the working out of the scheme.

Some references have been made to the conditions of service, remuneration and so on. As hon. Members will be aware, the Bill gives the Minister a general power to prescribe by regulations the conditions of service, remuneration and qualifications of officers and servants employed by the new regional hospital boards or other bodies providing health services under the Bill. It is my right hon. Friend's intention, before prescribing any terms of service or rates of remuneration, to use the familiar machinery of discussion and negotiation with employees. Where suitable machinery exists and is in operation, it will be used with such adaptations as may be necessary in the new circumstances. What my right hon. Friend has in mind, where there is no machinery, is to set up some machinery of the Whitley Council type behind which there may be provision for agreed reference to arbitration should the Whitley Council not be able to carry it out. I think that principle will run all through my right hon. Friend's administration of this great new service.

One or two speakers have raised the question of the domestic nursing service and the Queen's Institute. It was raised by the Noble Lady the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Viscountess Davidson), the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) and again today by the hon. and gallant Member for Chelmsford (Wing-Commander Millington). There are two points. One is the participation of the district nursing associations in the provision of home nursing services, and the other is the position of the Queen's Institute in relation to the training and supervision of nurses. On the first point. Clause 25 of the Bill provides for the possibility of voluntary nursing associations being used in the provision of home nursing services, and the procedure for preparing, working out and submitting proposals to the Minister, laid down in Clause 20, ensures that every voluntary organisation will know what the local health authority in the area is proposing to do, and gives it a statutory right to make recommendations to the Minister for modifying the proposals if it wishes to do so. This is the machinery which was adopted in an Act that has been on the Statute Book for 10 years—the Midwives Act, 1936—under which very extensive use has been made with very considerable success of the district nursing associations. My right hon. Friend intends to pursue that policy. On the question of the training and supervision of nurses, my right hon. Friend is fully aware of the importance of the problem, and proposes to discuss the whole issue with them as a separate problem at the earliest opportunity. I hope that will satisfy those Members who are interested in that issue.

I have dealt with Amendments for nearly a quarter of a century and I have never seen one quite as bad as that which we are now discussing. I am sorry to say the Tory hand has lost its cunning; perhaps it might get some from some other sources. The right hon. and learned Gentleman who moved this rather curious Amendment, who was the Minister of Health in the last Government, may remember that he and I crossed swords on issues arising out of the White Paper. There was an agreed White Paper and then, somehow, in some mysterious way—and I am bound to say, some hole in the corner way—there were other discussions going on with official representatives of various organisations who were interested in the White Paper. I did not think that that was quite cricket myself, and I said so from the Box opposite just over a year ago. Anyhow, something leaked, and I had a copy of the document in my hand when I was speaking in the House on that occasion. I did not go looking for it; it just fell into my hands. The right hon. Gentleman was full of indignation. He said this was all quite unofficial; the Government were not committed to it at all. Then yesterday he made his speech on these new proposals, which he himself had offered to these various organisations if they would accept them. He had said, "I will father them on the National Government"

Mr. Willink

I know the right hon. Gentleman has said this before, and it is entirely inaccurate. I cannot give the details of it now, but it is entirely untrue that I ever said I would father any of these proposals whatever.

Hon. Members


Mr. Greenwood

I am not going to withdraw. I understand that the right hon. and learned Gentleman undertook, if his advised proposals were accepted by these various organisations, to recommend their adoption to his colleagues in the War Cabinet.

Mr. Willink

That also 1 deny. It the right hon. Gentleman is going to say this I hope he will quote from some document which even purports to express my own words.

Mr. Greenwood

That is my information. [HON. MEMBERS: "Quote."] Unless I get disproval I certainly do not intend—

Sir W. Wakefield

Is it in Order, Mr. Speaker, for the right hon. Gentleman to make a statement about another right hon. Gentleman in the House and then, when the statement is denied, to persist in it and refuse to withdraw it?

Mr. Speaker

The right hon. Gentleman is entitled to make his case in his own way. His statement can be challenged, but that does not necessarily mean that it has to be withdrawn.

Sir W. Wakefield

Must not some evidence be produced, when it has been denied, to show that it is true?

Mr. Speaker

Evidence might also be produced from the other side.

Mr. Greenwood

I am sorry that I disposed of the printed document. I have no doubt I can recover a copy. My memory very rarely plays me false. I do not want to get at cross purposes with the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but I am quite certain that what he was talking about yesterday was not the White Paper; it was these proposals in the background, with which he was concerned. The argument in this Debate has not been between the White Paper and the proposals of my right hon. Friend—

Mr. Willink

I do not want to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman. [HON. MEMBERS: "Then why do so?"] The right hon. Gentleman has now been good enough to refer to a document. I am pretty sure I know to what document he is referring—the one he has not now with him. Will he make it clear to the House that that was not a document issued by the Ministry of Health, but a document issued by the British Medical Association?

Mr. Greenwood

I have now had a copy of the document handed to me. I am sorry to have had this little trouble. Hon. Members opposite are becoming a little touchy in their old age. The first paragraph of this document—[HON. MEMBERS: "What is it?"] Hon. Members opposite will not flurry me in that kind of way. I am going to give the whole of the facts. The British Medical Association had a special representative meeting, and this is a report by the Council on the negotiations with the Minister of Health. We had better have this read out: The Council has now received a report from the negotiating committee on the discussions which have been taking place with the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland during the past few months. Included in its report is an administrative structure put forward by the Minister as a possible alternative to that outlined in the White Paper. [Interruption.] I have not finished yet. These alternative proposals are not now proposals put forward by the Government in place of the White Paper. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Wait a minute. They are proposals which the Minister will be willing to put to his colleagues as soon as he knows whether they commend themselves to the medical profession or not. [HON. MEMBERS: "Withdraw."] I think if there is anything to be withdrawn it ought to be withdrawn from the other side. However, I do not press the matter; I have made my point. When the Bill goes to Standing Committee my right hon. Friend will not be unreasonable. He will be prepared to listen to arguments and will not close his mind to any improvement that can be made on the Committee stage. At the same time, I am bound to say that in spite of the studied moderation of his speech on Second Reading—which I think illuminated the House of Commons—I believe he is determined to get this Bill through. We certainly shall get it through, and no amount of misrepresentation will deter us. A short time ago I had two leaflets given to me neither of which bears any printer's or publisher's imprint. It is vicious propaganda which has emanated, I am sorry to say, from the medical profession. [HON. MEMBERS: "A section."] From a section of the medical profession, certainly. They say: You want the best medical advice and medical services, so do the doctors. They want to help you to make sure you really get them. You want to change your own doctor and to change to another if you feel like it. But "— in large print— after the National Health Service becomes law your choice will be restricted. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] What about South Bristol? Is their choice to be extended? This talk about the choice of doctor has always been an illusion, except for the rich. The ordinary rank and file of our people have to pick their doctors from the districts in which they live. It goes on getting worse. I have no time to read it all, but I commend it to my hon. Friends: If you want to feel that your doctor is your own doctor, the National Health Service Bill will turn your doctor into the State's doctor.

We have heard that already. He will become a salaried doctor. I have more or less dealt with that. This paper is an attempt to prejudice this Bill before it has had a chance to operate. They are trying to make out that there is something very holy in the relationship between doctor and patient. It may be a strong personal relationship, but I say that I know doctors in public hospitals who are just as sympathetic towards the hospital inmates and patients as any private enterprise doctor would be. Then it goes on: You want your doctor's certificates to be given on his own judgment of your case. Then, in large print: Under the National Health Service Bill he will be the State doctor and the State —mark this, it is a most offensive statement— and the State may want to control the doctor's certificates in order to save the social security funds. What is this monstrous suggestion? It is that my right hon. Friend is prepared to monkey about with doctors' certificates in order to save the contributions of the Treasury. I say it is an insult. There is another one which is even sweeter in a way: Will it make you healthier? —there is no argument about this, because doctors know best— Will Mr. Bevan's Bill improve your health by giving you a better house or better food? This time the answer is in very small print: It will not. There really is not much argument, and if this campaign is to be conducted on that kind of basis, I am very sorry for the morals of our public life. I am not so sure that these two documents are not illegal. They bear no publisher's or printer's name—I shall cherish these two leaflets until the Bill is on the Statute Book, and the donor of them will not get them back. That is the kind of campaign we are putting up with.

Division No. 136.] AYES 6.37 p.m.
Adams, W. T (Hammersmith, South) Battley, J R. Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)
Adamson, Mrs. J. L. Bechervaise, A. E Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'p'I, Exch'ge)
Allen A. C (Bosworth) Belcher, J. W. Braddock, T. (Mitcham)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Bellenger, F. J. Brook, D. (Halifax)
Allighan, Garry Benson, G. Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell)
Alpass, J. H Berry, H Brown, George (Belper)
Anderson, A (Motherwell) Beswick, Fit.-Lieut. F. Brown, T. J. (Ince)
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale) Brown, W. J. (Rugby)
Attewell, H. C. Bing, Capt. G. H. C Bruce, Maj. D. W. T
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R. Binns, J. Burden, T. W.
Awbery, S. S. Blackburn, A. R. Burke, W. A.
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B Blenkinsop, Capt. A Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)
Baird, Capt. J. Blyton, W. R. Byers, Lt.-Col. F.
Balfour, A. Boardman, H. Callaghan, James
Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Bottomley, A. G. Castle, Mrs. B. A
Barstow, P. G. Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H W Champion, A. J
Barton, C Bowen, R. Chater, D

We are concerned not about the medical profession, or the dentists, or the opticians; we are concerned about the health of the people of this country. With what else should we be concerned? The vast majority of my hon. Friends on this side of the House come from humble homes; we know what the life of the working classes is, we want their health improved. Of course we do. We want them to have at their disposal the best possible treatment in the best possible circumstances, and we regard all these agencies whether they are institutions or persons, as instruments for carrying out this great improvement in the health of our people. We are wasting not merely money, we are wasting human life and human energy because there is an enormous amount of preventable disease in this country which is not being prevented. There is a reference to research. One of the things which is very close to the mind of my right hon. Friend is research into that most gruelling complaint—I speak as a sufferer—rheumatism. My right hon. Friend will do all he can in that direction, because he wants to avoid unnecessary human suffering.

There is, however, a wider motive behind my right hon. Friend and the Government, and that is to improve the temple of the human spirit—to improve the quality of the human body, so that a great people, as we have proved ourselves to be, may through a new environment and better treatment become more worthy citizens of this great country. If the Opposition choose to divide against us, they are quite welcome to do so.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

Chetwynd, Capt. G. R. Hastings, Dr. Somerville Mulvey, A.
Clitherow, Dr. R. Haworth, J. Murray, J. D
Cluse, W. S. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Nally, W.
Cobb, F. A. Herbison, Miss M. Naylor, T. E.
Cocks, F. S. Hewitson Capt. M. Neal, H. (Claycross)
Coldrick, W. Hicks, G Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)
Collindridge, F. Hobson, C. R. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Collins, V. J. Holman, P. Noel-Buxton, Lady
Colman, Miss G. M Holmes, H. E (Hemsworth) O'Brien, T.
Comyns, Dr. L. Horabin, T. L. Oldfield, W. H.
Cook, T. F. House, G. Oliver, G. H.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Hoy, J. Orbach, M.
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.) Hubbard, T. Paget, R. T.
Corlett, Dr. J. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Corvedale, Viscount Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'Iverh'pton, W.) Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Cove, W. G. Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme) Palmer, A. M. F
Crawley, Flt.-Lieut. A Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Pargiter, G. A
Cunningham, P Irving, W. J. Parker, J.
Daggar, G. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Parkin, Flt.-Lieut. B. T.
Daines, P. Janner, B. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. Jeger, Capt. G. (Winchester) Paton, J. (Norwich)
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Pearson, A.
Davies, Clement (Montgomery) Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Pearl, Capt. T. F
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Perrins, W.
Davies. Harold (Leek) Jones, P. Asterley, (Hitchin) Piratin, P.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Keenan, W. Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Davies, R J. (Westhoughton) Kenyon, C. Poole, Maj. Cecil (Lichfield)
Deer G. Key, C. W. Popplewell, E.
de Freitas, Geoffrey King, E. M. Porter, E. (Warrington)
Delargy, Captain H. J. Kinghorn, Sqn. Ldr. E. Porter, G. (Leeds)
Diamond, J. Kinley, J. Price M. P.
Dobbie, W. Kirby, B. V. Pritt, D. N.
Donovan, T. Kirkwood, D Proctor, W. T
Douglas, F. C. R. Lang, G. Pursey, Cmdr. H
Driberg, T. E. N. Lavers, S. Ranger, J.
Dumpleton, C. W. Lee, F. (Hulme) Rankin, J.
Durbin, E. F. M. Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Reeves, J.
Dye, S. Leonard, W. Reid, T. (Swindon)
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Leslie, J. R. Rhodes, H.
Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.) Lever, Fl. Off. N. H. Richards, R.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwellty) Levy, B. W. Ridealgh, Mrs. M.
Edward, N (Caerphilly) Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Robens, A.
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) Lewis, T. (Southampton) Roberts, Sqn.-Ldr. Emrys (Merioneth)
Evans. E. (Lowestoft) Lindgren, G. S. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Ewart, R. Lindsay, K. M. (Comb'd Eng. Univ.) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Fairhurst, F. Lipson, D. L. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Farthing, W. J. Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Rogers, G. H. R.
Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) Longden, F. Royle, C
Follick, M. Lyne, A. W. Sargood, R.
Foot, M. M. McAdam, W. ScoIlan, T.
Foster, W. (Wigan) McAllister, G. Scott-Elliot, W.
Fraser, T. (Hamilton) McEntee, V. La T Segal, Sq.-Ldr. S.
Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) McGhee, H. G. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A.
Freeman, Peter (Newport) McKay, J. (Wallsend) Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M.
Gaitskell, H. T. N. Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Ganley, Mrs. C. S. McKinlay, A. S. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
George, Maj. Rt. Hn. C. Lloyd (P'ke) Maclean, N (Govan) Shurmer, P.
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) McLeavy, F Silkin, Rt. Hon. L.
Gibbins, J. MacMillan, M K Silverman J (Erdington)
Gibson, C. W. McNeil, H. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson)
Gilzean, A. Macpherson, T. (Romford) Simmons C. J.
Glanville. J. E. (Consett) Mainwaring, W. H. Skeffington, A. M.
Gooch, E. G. Mallalieu, J. P. W. Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Goodrich, H. E. Mann, Mrs. J. Skinnard, F. W.
Gordon-Walker, P. C. Manning, C. (Camberwell, N.) Smith, Capt. C. (Colchester)
Granville, E. (Eye) Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Smith. H. N. (Nottingham, W.)
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Marshall, F. (Brightside) Smith, S H. (Hull, S.W.)
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Martin, J. H. Smith, T (Normanton)
Granfell, D. R. Mothers, G. Snow, Capt. J. W.
Grey, C. F. Mayhew, C. P. Sorensen, R. W.
Griersen, E. Medland, H M. Soskice, Maj. Sir F
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Messer, F. Sparks, J. A.
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanslly) Middleton, Mrs. L. Stamford, W
Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side) Mikardo, Ian Steele, T
Guest, Dr. L. Haden Millington, Wing-Comdr. E. R. Stephen, C.
Gunter, Capt. R. J. Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Stokes, R. R.
Guy, W. H. Monslow, W. Strachey, J.
Hale, Leslie Montague, F. Strauss, G. R
Hall, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Aberdare) Moody, A. S. Stross, Dr B.
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Morgan, Dr. H. B. Stubbs, A. E.
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Morley, R. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Swingler, Capt. S.
Hardman, D. R. Morris, H. (Carmarthen) Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Hardy, E. A. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Harris, H. Wilson Mort, D. L. Taylor, R. J (Morpeth)
Harrison, J. Moyle, A. Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Thomas, Ivor (Keighley) Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst) Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin) Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Thomas, John R. (Dover) Warbey, W. N. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Thomas, George (Cardiff) Watkins, T. E. Williamson, T.
Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.) Watson, W. M. Willis, E.
Thorneycroft, H. Weitzman, D. Wills, Mrs E. A.
Thurtle, E. Wells, P. L. (Faversham) Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J
Timmons, J. Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Wilson, J. H.
Titterington, M. F. Westwood, Rt. Hon. J. Wise, Major F. J.
Tolley, L. White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.) Woodburn, A.
Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Yates, V. F.
Turner-Samuels, M. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Ungoed-Thomas, L. Wigg, Col. G. E. Younger, Hon. K. G.
Usborne, Henry Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B. Zilliacus, K.
Vernon, Maj. W. F. Wilkes, Maj. L.
Viant, S. P. Wilkins, W. A. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Walkden, E. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland) Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Walker, G. H. Williams, D. J. (Neath) Captain Michael Stewart
Agnew. Cmdr. P G. Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Pitman, I. J.
Aitken, Hon Max Hollis, Sqn.-Ldr. M. C. Prescott, Stanley
Allen, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Armagh) Holmes, Sir J. Stanley Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.
Anderson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Scot. Univ.) Hope, Lord J. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O
Assheton, Rt. Hon. R Howard, Hon. A. Raikes, H. V.
Baldwin, A. E. Hudson, Rt. Hon. R S. (Southport) Ramsay, Maj. S
Barlow, Sir J. Hulbert, Wing-Comdr. N. J. Rayner, Brig. R.
Baxter, A. B. Hurd, A. Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Beamish, Maj. T. V. H Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Reid, Rt. Hon. J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Beechman, N. A. Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Renton, D.
Bennett, Sir P. Jarvis, Sir J. Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Birch, Lt.-Col. Nigel Jeffreys, General Sir G. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Ecclesall)
Bossom, A. C Jennings R. Robertson, Sir D. (Streatham)
Boyd-Carpenter, J A. Keeling, E. H. Ropner, Col. L.
Bromley-Davenport. Lt.-Co W Kerr, Sir J. Graham Ross, Sir R.
Bullock, Capt. M. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Sanderson, Sir F.
Butcher, H. W. Lambert, Hon. G. Savory, Prof. D. L.
Butler, Rt Hon R. A (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Law, Rt. Hon. R. K. Scott, Lord W.
Carson, E. Legge-Bourke, Maj E. A. H Shepherd, Lieut. W. S. (Bucklew)
Challen, Flt.-Lieut. C Lennox-Boyd, A. T Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Channon, H. Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew. E.) Smithers, Sir W
Churchill, Rt. Hon. W. S. Low, Brig. A. R W. Snadden, W M.
Clarke, Col. R. S. Lucas, Major Sir J Spearman, A. C. M
Clifton Brown, Lt.-Col. G Lucas-Tooth, Sir H Spence, Maj. H. R.
Cole, T. L. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O Stanley, Rt. Hon. O.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Stewart, J. Henderson (Fife, E.)
Cooper-Key, E. M. McCallum, Maj. D. Steddart-Scott, Col. M.
Corbett., Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) MacDonald, Sir M. (Inverness) Strauss, H. G. (Corn. Eng. Univ'sities)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C. Macdonald, Capt. Sir P. (I. of Wight) Studholme, H. G
Crowder, Capt. J. F. E. Mackeson, Lt.-Col. H. R. Sutcliffe, H.
Cuthbert, W. N. McKie, J. H. (Galloway) Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Darling, Sir W. Y. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Taylor, Vice-Adm. E. A. (P'dd'ton, S.)
Davidson, Viscountess Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster) Teeling, William
De la Bere, R. MacLeod, Capt. J. Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Digby, Maj S. W. Macmillan, Rt. Hon. Harold Thomson Sir D. (Aberdeen, S.)
Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P W Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Thornton-Kemsley, C. N.
Drewe, C Maitland, Camdr. J. W. Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T (Richmond) Manningham-Buller, R. E. Touche, G. C.
Duthie, W. S Marlowe, A. A. H. Turton, R. H.
Eccles, D. M. Marples, A. E. Wakefield, Sir W. W
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Marsden, Capt. A. Walker-Smith, D
Erroll, F. J. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Ward, Hon. G. R
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr E. L Marshall, S. H. (Suton) Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Maude, J. C. Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Foster, J. G. (Northwich) Medlicott, Brig. F Wheatley, Colonel M J.
Fraser, Maj. H. C. P. (Stone) Mellor, Sir J. White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Fraser, Lt.-Col. Sir I. (Lonsdale) Moore, Lt.-Col. Sir T. White, J. B (Canterbury)
Galbraith Cmdr. T. D. Morris-Jones, Sir H. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Glossop. C. W. H. Morrison, Maj J. G. (Salisbury) Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A. G Neill, W. F. (Belfast, N.) Willink, Rt. Hon H. U.
Graham-Little Sir E Neven-Spence, Major Sir B Willoughby, de Eresby, Lord
Gridley. Sir A Nicholsor G. Winterton, Rt Hon Earl
Grimston, R. V. Noble, Comdr A. H. P. York, C.
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) O'Neill, Rt Hon Sir H Young, Sir A. S L. (Partick)
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Haughton, S G. Osborne, C. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Head, Brig. A. H. Peake. Rt. Hon. O. Mr. James Stuart and
Headlam. Lieut.-Col. Rt Hon Sir C Peto, Brig. C H. M Mr. Buchan-Hepburn.
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Picktborn K

Bill read a Second time.

The House divided: Ayes, 359; Noes, 172.

Mr. Churchill (Woodford)

I beg to move, "That the Bill be committed to a Committee of the Whole House."

Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Baird, Capt. J. Bevan, Rt. Hon. A. (Ebbw Vale)
Adamson, Mrs. J. L. Balfour, A. Bevin, Rt Hon. E. (Wandsworth, C.)
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Barnes, Rt. Hon. A. J Blackburn. A. R.
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Barstow, P. G. Blenkinsop, Capt. A
Allighan, Garry Barton, C. Blyton, W. R.
Alpass, J. H. Battley, J. R. Boardman, H.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Bechervaise, A. E. Bottomley, A. G.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Belcher, J. W. Bowden Flg.-Offr. H. W
Attewell, H. C. Bellenger, F. J Bowles, F G. (Nuneaton)
Attlee, Rt. Hon. C. R Benson, G. Braddock Mrs. E M. (L'pI, Exch'ge)
Awbery, S. S. Berry, H. Braddock, T. (Mitcham)
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B Beswick, Flt.-Lieut. F Brook. D. (Halifax)

Question put.

The House divided: Ayes, 180; Noes, 344.

Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Hardy, E. A Murray, J. D
Brown, George (Belper) Harrison, J. Nally, W.
Brown, T J. (Ince) Hastings, Dr. Somerville Naylor, T. E.
Brown, W. J. (Rugby) Haworth, J. Neal, H. (Claycross)
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)
Burden, T. W. Herbison, Miss M. Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
Burke, W. A. Hewitson, Capt. M Noel-Baker, Rt. Hon. P. J (Derby)
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Hicks, G. Noel-Buxton, Lady
Callaghan, James Hobson, C. R. O'Brien, T.
Castle, Mrs. B. A. Holman, P. Oldfield, W. H.
Champion, A. J. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Oliver, G. H.
Chater, D. Horabin, T. L. Orbach, M.
Chetwynd, Capt. G. R. House, G. Paget, R. T.
Clitherow, Dr. R. Hoy, J. Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth)
Cobb, F. A. Hubbard, T Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Cocks, F. S. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr) Palmer, A. M. F.
Coldrick, W. Hughes, Lt. H. D. (W'Iverh'pton, W.) Pargiter, G. A.
Collindridge, F. Hutchinson, H. L (Rusholme) Parker, J.
Collins, V. J. Hynd, H (Hackney, C.) Parkin, Fit.-Lieut. B. T.
Colman, Miss G M Irving, W. J. Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Comyns, Dr. L Isaacs, Rt Hon. G. A. Paton, J. (Norwich)
Cook, T. F. Janner, B. Pearson, A.
Cooper, Wing.Comdr. G Jeger, G. (Winchester) Pearl, Capt. T F
Corbet, Mrs. F. K (Camb'well, N.W.) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Perrins, W.
Corlett, Dr. J. Jones, A. C. (Shipley) Piratin, P.
Corvedale, Viscount Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Platts-Mills, J. F. F.
Cove, W. G Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Poole, Maj. Cecil (Lichfield)
Crawley, Fit -Lieut. A Keenan, W. Poppiewell, E.
Daggar, G. Kenyon, C. Porter, E (Warrington)
Daines, P. Key, C. W. Porter, G. (Leeds)
Dalton, Rt. Hon. H. King, E. M. Price, M P.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E Pritt, D. N.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield) Kinley, J. Proctor, W. T.
Davies, Harold (Leek) Kirby, B. V. Pursey, Cmdr. H
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.) Kirkwood, D Ranger, J.
Davies, R J. (Westhoughton) Lang, G. Rankin, J,
Deer, G. Lavers, S. Reeves, J.
de Freitas, Geoffrey Lee, F. (Hulme) Reid, T. (Swindon)
Detargy, Captain H. J Lee, Miss J. (Cannock) Rhodes, H.
Diamond. J Leonard, W. Richards, R.
Dobbie, W. Leslie, J. R. Ridealgh, Mrs. M
Donovan, T Lever, Fi. Off. N. H. Robens, A.
Douglas, F. C. R Levy, B. W. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Driberg, T. E. N. Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton) Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Dumpleton, C. W. Lewis, T (Southampton) Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Durbin, E. F. M Lindgren G. S. Rogers, G. H R
Dye, S. Lindsay, K. M (Comb'd Eng. Univ.) Royle, C.
Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Lipton, Lt.-Col M. Sargood, R.
Edwards, A (Middlesbrough, E.) Longden, F. Scollan, T.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Sir C. (Bedwelty) Lyne, A. W. Scott-Elliot, W
Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) McAdam, W Segal, Dr. S
Edwards, W. J. (Whitechapel) McAllister, G. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E A A
Evans, E. (Lowestoft) McEntee, V. La T Sharp, Lt.-Col G. M.
Ewart, R. McGhee, H. G. Shawcross, Sir H. (St. Helens)
Fairhurst, F. McKay, J. (Wallsend) Shinwell, Rt Hon. E
Farthing, W. J. Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Shurmer, P
Fletcher, E. G. M (Islington, E.) McKinlay, A. S. Silkin, Rt. Hon L.
Follick, M. Maclean, N. (Govan) Silverman, J. (Erdington)
Foot, M. M. McLeavy, F. Silverman, S. S. (Neison)
Foster, W (Wigan) MacMillan, M K. (Western Isles) Simmons, C. J.
Fraser, T. (Hamilton) McNeil, H. Skeffington, A. M.
Freeman, Maj. J. (Watford) Macpherson, T. (Romford) Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Freeman, Peter (Newport) Mainwaring, W H. Skinnard, F. W.
Gaitskell, H. T. N Mallalieu, J. P. W Smith, Capt C. (Colchester)
Gibbins, J. Mann, Mrs. J. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Gibson, C. W Manning, C (Camberwell, N.) Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Gilzean, A. Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Smith, T. (Normanton)
Glanville. J. E (Consett) Marshall, F. (Brightside) Snow, Capt. J. W.
Gooch, E. G. Martin, J. H. Sorensen, R. W.
Goodrich, H. E Mathers, G. Soskice, Maj. Sir F
Gordon Walker P C Mayhew C. P. Sparks, J. A
Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Medland, H. M Stamford. W
Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood) Messer, F. Steele, T.
Grenfell, D. R. Middleton, Mrs. L Stephen, C.
Grey, C. F. Mikardo, Ian Stokes, R. R.
Grierson, E. Millington, Wing-Comdr E R Strachey, J.
Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Mitchison, Maj. G. R Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth)
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llarelly) Monslow, W. Stross, Dr. B
Griffiths, Capt. W. D. (Moss Side) Montague, F. Stubbs, A. E.
Guest, Dr. L. Haden Moody, A. S. Summerskill, Dr. Edith
Gunter, Capt. R. J Morgan, Dr. H. B Swingler, Capt. S.
Guy, W. H. Morley, R. Symonds, Maj. A. L.
Hale, Leslie Morris, P (Swansea, W.) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Hall, W G. (Colne Valley) Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R Mort, D. L Taylor, Dr. S. (Barnet)
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Moyle, A Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Hardman, D. R. Moyle, A Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin) Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.) Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Thomas, John R. (Dover) Warbey, W. N. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Thomas, George (Cardiff) Watkins, T. E. Williamson, T.
Thomson, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Ed'b'gh, E.) Watson, W. M. Willis, E.
Thorneycroft, H. (Clayton) Weitzman, D. Wills, Mrs. E. A
Thurtle, E. Wells, P. L. (Faversham) Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J
Timmons, J. Wells, W. T. (Walsall) Wilson, J. H.
Titterington, M. F. Westwood, Rt. Hon. J. Wise, Major F. J
Tolley, L. White, C. F. (Derbyshire, W.) Woodburn, A
Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.) Yates, V. F.
Turner-Samuels, M. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W. Young, Sir R. (Newton)
Ungoed-Thomas, L. Wigg, Col. G. E. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Usborne, Henry Wilcock, Group-Capt. C A. B Zilliacus, K.
Vernon, Maj. W. F Wilkes, Maj. L.
Viant, S. P. Wilkins, W. A. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Walkden, E. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland) Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Walker, G. H. Williams, D. J. (Heath) Captain Michael Stewart.
Wallace. G. D. (Chislehurst) Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)