HC Deb 23 July 1953 vol 518 cc578-9
28. Mr. Marquand

asked the Minister of Health whether he will present a White Paper reviewing the effects of the charges for appliances and treatment in the hospital and general practitioners services imposed in 1951 and 1952.

Mr. Iain Macleod

No, Sir. I think that this information can best be given by Parliamentary Question and answer.

Mr. Marquand

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that in view of the resolution passed by the British Medical Association it would be better to give Parliament an opportunity to judge the effect of these charges, and that a factual statement put before us during the Recess would be of great assistance to us in making up our minds? Has his attention been drawn to a statement by Dr. A. J. Macleod, when the resolution was passed by the British Medical Association, to the effect that a recent speech by the Minister of Health suggested that he was anything but confident about the Is, charge? Are we not entitled to more information about that?

Mr. Macleod

On the first point, I should have thought that clearly it was better that a matter that can be put to me for Oral answer once a week and Written answer every day would enable far more information to be given to the House than the publication of a White Paper which would be out of date within a week of its issue and would have to be constantly brought up to date. On the observation made at the annual meeting, I am delighted to see this additional proof of the slow conversion of the Opposition to the point of view of those called Macleod, who come from the Western Isles.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is most important that the House should have the fullest information about the effect of these charges? Does he not recognise that the House welcomes the conversion of the British Medical Association to the point of view expressed always from this side?