HC Deb 09 July 1947 vol 439 cc2205-6
45. Colonel Stoddart-Scott

asked the Prime Minister, if, in view of the fact that in the appointment of regional hospital boards, hon. Members of this House from one party only have been appointed, although hon. Members from other parties have similar qualifications of hospital work administration and management, he will set up a Select Committee to consider the effect of such political appointments on the hospital services of this country.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

I repudiate the suggestion that these appointments are political; examination of the boards' membership will prove that persons with suitable experience have been chosen without any shadow of political exclusiveness. The last part of the Question, therefore, does not arise.

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

Is the Prime Minister aware that six members of this House, all Member of the right hon. Gentleman's Party, and four Members of another place, none of whom is Conservative, have been chosen to sit upon these boards; and is he further aware that such political appointments will mean an inevitable change in these hospital boards after the next General Election and will be to the detriment of the hospital service?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that the hon. and gallant Gentleman has his facts correct. I believe there are five Members from this side of the House on these boards and from another place there is Lord Cunliffe, the Earl of Cran-brook, and Lord Henley, who are certainly not members of this party, and Lord Eustace Percy, a very eminent Conservative. I really do think that it is unjustifiable to complain just because now, after many years, some Labour people are appointed to these various boards.

Sir Henry Morris-Jones

Is the Prime Minister aware that some of the names on these boards, particularly in North Wales, have been received with perplexity, and may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman can tell the House why people who have given their lives to hospital service and whose names are well known are omitted?

The Prime Minister

I cannot tell the hon. Gentleman that. Perhaps they are too old.