HC Deb 11 July 1955 vol 543 cc1567-8
41. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the financial allocation for the year 1954–55 to the South-Western Regional Hospital Board, was unrealistic; that they were able to maintain the hospital service only by the deferment of essential maintenance and other vitally necessary expenditure; and if he will state the actual total expenditure by the South-Western Board for the year 1954–55, and the total financial allocation for 1955–56.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The actual expenditure for 1954–55 is not yet known, but is estimated at £15,982,000. For 1955–56 the allocation so far made is £16,791,000. I do not accept the implication of the remainder of the Question.

Mr. Collins

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the word "unrealistic" was the description applied by the Board itself to the allocations it received last year and which it had to exceed? Will the right hon. Gentleman review the matter this year in order to make quite sure that there is not only sufficient money to cover increased wages and salaries, but also to make certain that patients have enough to eat?

Mr. Macleod

Not only are there sufficient amounts for this particular subhead of building maintenance, but, indeed, the total amount which I have given this Board this year is no less than £37,000 more than it asked for. That is a most unusual state of affairs.