HC Deb 06 February 1956 vol 548 c1346
65. Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

asked the Minister of Health whether it is his intention to adopt the recommendation of the committee of inquiry into the cost of the National Health Service that there should be an annual capital expenditure of £30 million.

Mr. Turton

The Government will have these recommendations in mind when the time comes to fix the level of capital expenditure for 1958–59 to 1964–65. As the Committee stresses in its recommendations, the size of this capital programme in any period must depend on the general economic situation.

Mr. Mallalieu

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that the opinion of this Committee was that many of our hospitals are in a dangerous state of obsolescence? Can he give the House every assurance that no delay will be practised by him or his Department in putting these recommendations into effect?

Mr. Turton

I have studied the Guillebaud Report with care. What it says is quite true—that many hospitals are out of date because there was a long delay in restarting building after the war. I am very anxious that those hospitals shall be brought up-to-date as quickly as possible in the light of economic circumstances, and our present capital programme will make a great contribution to that.