HC Deb 16 July 1953 vol 517 c2242
40. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Health the annual cost of the ambulance service for each of the years 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Since a table of figures is involved I will, with permission, circulate the answer in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir W. Smithers

I wish my right hon. Friend would give the figures to the House now. May I ask him why the voluntary car service has been abandoned, because it is much cheaper? Does he not agree that the indiscriminate use of large ambulances for single cases is most expensive and a waste of public money?

Mr. Macleod

Use is still made of voluntary effort, particularly for sitting cases. The second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary is, I think, too wide a generalisation for me to assent to.

Figures for the financial years concerned are:

5.7.48–31.3.49 £4,114,040
1.4.49–31.3.50 £7,003,450
1.4.50–31.3.51 £7,877,210
1.4.51–31.3.52 £8,835,420
1.4.52–31.3.53 £9,593,000

No figures of cost are available prior to 5th July, 1948.