HC Deb 09 July 1947 vol 439 c2207
47. Commander Noble

asked the Minister of Defence what progress has been made towards merging the three Service medical branches.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

This question is still under examination. I ought, however, to make it clear that it has not yet been established that the complete merger of the three medical services is to be preferred to the alternative of the maximum degree of co-ordination between those services.

Mr. W. Fletcher

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the enormous overlapping has resulted in great lack of accommodation and personnel overseas?

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

Does the Minister realise that the merger of these services will result in great economy in military manpower, and when he is considering it will he consider at the same time the merger of the three nursing services?

Mr. Alexander

I have been looking into the question of economy of manpower that might be effected by the merger. Not only I, but other Departments which have examined the matter so far have not been convinced of the actual economy to be effected. As I say, however, the matter is still under consideration.