HC Deb 30 November 1948 vol 458 cc1793-5
19. Mrs. Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if his attention has been directed to the increased incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis in Scotland, and the steep increase in the mortality rate; and if he will allocate increased capital expenditure to Scottish housing for the prevention of further increase of this disease.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Woodburn)

I am fully aware of the position and at my request the Scottish Health Services Council have set up a Committee specially to advise me on the problem. The Committee has begun its investigations. Arrangements were made in August for an additional allocation of 1,000 permanent aluminium bungalows to Scotland for distribution to those areas where the problem is most acute.

Mrs. Mann

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, while the August allocation was very welcome, it is not nearly enough and, in view of the great increase in the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis, does he agree that it is far too long to wait on the Committee reporting, that the houses are more necessary and if we do not have them soon we shall need to have hospitals?

Mr. Woodburn

The two points have nothing in common. The houses are not waiting on the Committee reporting. The Medical Committee are reporting on the medical aspect. We have not to wait on the medical report to know that houses are necessary, but because of the figures published, I took steps to see that these houses were placed at the disposal of the authorities.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

In view of the fact that a large number of workers have been discharged from factories making aluminium houses, can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that additional houses to which he referred will be provided?

Mr. Woodburn

That anticipates a Question which is later on the Order Paper.

Mr. McGovern

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is very grave dissatisfaction in Glasgow at the rate of house building and that the concentrated attacks which are being made are against him as being responsible for this policy? While contrasts are constantly made with England, will my right hon. Friend remember that Glasgow is one of the worst housed cities in the country?

Mr. Woodburn

That also anticipates a later Question.

Mr. Gallacher

Will the terms of reference include a study of the conditions and remuneration for nurses who are to deal with this very serious disease in Glasgow?

Major Guy Lloyd

In view of the deplorable conditions of housing in Glasgow, of which the right hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends know, is it not time that Socialist speakers in Scotland stopped boasting about the housing progress made by this Government?

Mr. Carmichael

Apart from the general complaint on housing, will my right hon. Friend take steps to examine the quota allocated by local authorities to tuberculosis cases because, in my opinion, the number is far too low, particularly in the city of Glasgow.

Mr. Woodburn

In addition to these houses specially allocated, local authorities are allocating a proportion of houses to tuberculosis patients. That must be left to the discretion of local authorities in considering all the circumstances.

Mrs. Mann

I do not feel that the last part of my Question has been answered. Could I have the assurance of my right hon. Friend that if it is necessary the extra additional capital expenditure will be forthcoming this year?

Mr. Woodburn

The local authorities in Scotland have as many houses as they can possibly complete next year and therefore no addition to the capital expenditure would make any difference to the number of houses to be completed next year.

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