16 Brigadier Clarke
asked the Minister of Health (1) for what purpose the Langstone Sanatorium, Portsmouth, was used between 1st January, 1953, and November, 1953;
1363 (2) why the Langstone Sanatorium, Portsmouth, was not offered to Portsmouth Corporation until May, 1954, when it became officially surplus in November, 1953; and
(3) when the Langstone Sanatorium, Portsmouth, was last used as a sanatorium; and for what purposes it was subsequently used.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
The last use as a sanatorium was in June, 1950, and it was subsequently used for storage until August, 1953. Although the hospital management committee reported the property as surplus to their requirements at the end of 1953, it was not possible to offer it to Portsmouth Corporation until possible alternative uses for hospital purposes had been considered by the regional hospital board.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Ministry of Health did not use this hospital for any useful purpose after 1950, that it might well have been handed back to Portsmouth and that it would have saved Portsmouth a lot of money in that case?
§ Mr. Macleod
I am afraid that I cannot quite agree with my hon. and gallant Friend. It may have taken a considerable time to dispose of this, but the final decision was well outside the time of the special concession that had been agreed to run for five years from 1948. In the circumstances, I regret that I cannot change my mind.
In view of what seems to have been a rather unnecessary delay, will my right hon. Friend now offer the hospital to Portsmouth at the same price at which it could have been offered if there had not been a delay?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
When the Minister says that he cannot quite agree with his hon. and gallant Friend, does he mean that he thoroughly disagrees with him? Would not it be better to say that?