§ 18. Mr. Snow
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what advice he has sent to local authorities regarding the provision of houses for midwives; and whether he will take steps to place a responsibility on local health authorities to shoulder such a financial charge in respect of a service which is the responsibility of such health authorities.
§ Mr. Sandys
I am sending the hon. Member copies of the guidance sent to local authorities. The second part of the Question is for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, but I understand that local health authorities already have power to provide dwellings for midwives.
§ Mr. Snow
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case that I have in mind, which affects Rugeley Urban District Council in Staffordshire, there is some disagreement between the health authority, which is the county council, and the urban district council as to the financial responsibility? Is it not possible to lay the responsibility fairly and truly on the shoulders of the health authority, in the same way as the financial responsibility for police housing is arranged? Is he further aware that in the urban district there are far too few midwives, for the simple reason that there are no houses for them, and that this is creating a very difficult situation?
§ Mr. Sandys
The question of police houses is, of course, one for the Home 253 Secretary. As far as I can gather from what the hon. Gentleman has said, I think the point that he is raising is one for the Minister of Health.