§ 25. Mr. K. Robinson
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that some regional hospital boards have schemes of major capital development ready for immediate implementation or sufficiently advanced to permit work to commence during the coming financial year; and, in view of this, if he will reconsider his decision to delay the expansion of hospital building and modernisation until the year 1956–57.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
I know of no major hospital building scheme outside the existing 1955–56 programme that is ready for immediate starting. If any of those for which I have recently asked Boards to bring plans to completion are ready to start before 1956–57 I will consider whether it is possible to fit them into the 1955–56 programme.
§ Mr. Robinson
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that our pleasure on this side of the House at the fact that he has at last managed to extract some more money from the Chancellor is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it is in the form of a post-dated cheque? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a scheme in the region with which I am associated which we could put to contract straight away but that it has been turned down by his Ministry?
§ Mr. Macleod
None of the schemes for Clare Hall, West Herts and so on, which I am sure the hon. Gentleman has in mind, have gone to tender and, therefore, they are not ready for immediate starting. If satisfactory tenders are obtained for 1956–57, and if, as I have said in my answer, they are ready to start, I will look into the question whether we can get them into the 1955–56 programme.