HC Deb 25 March 1952 vol 498 cc179-80
9. Major D. McCallum

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he will be able to arrange for a modern type of hover-plane ambulance to take over the transport of hospital patients from the Island of Mull, or neighbouring islands, to mainland hospitals in Oban or Glasgow.

Commander Galbraith

It is unlikely that a suitable type of helicopter will be available to undertake public transport over water for several years. In the meantime the Western Regional Hospital Board have made comprehensive arrangements in this area for the transport of patients by sea, including provision for emergencies.

Major McCallum

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that helicopters of the present type are being flown in many parts of the world, including Malaya and Korea, for the evacuation of casualties? Does he know that only recently a helicopter lifted 14 men, including casualties, out of the jungle in Malaya? Would it not be far easier to lift one or two casualties from the jungle of Mull and bring them to the mainland?

Commander Galbraith

My hon. and gallant Friend will realise that these Service casualties were lifted under Service conditions. It would not be right to take the same risks under a publicly operated service in conditions of peace.