HC Deb 01 December 1958 vol 596 cc831-2
29. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Minister of Health whether he now intends inviting hospital boards and local health authorities to submit proposals for additional capital expenditure in 1959.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Hospital boards have already been asked to prepare capital programmes for the expenditure of an additional £2 million in the financial year 1959–60 compared with this year, and have been allocated a further £1¾ million for capital expenditure before 31st March, 1959. Local health authorities come within the scope of the arrangements which were described in the recent circular on capital investment issued by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government, and I am ready to give sympathetic consideration to any proposals which fall within its terms.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman make this point clear to local health authorities? Looking at local government in general, there appears to be some misunderstanding in the matter.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I should not have thought that the clear terms of the circular lent themselves to any misunder- standing; but if, in fact, I find that there is misunderstanding, I shall be very happy to clarify the position.

Mr. Chetwynd

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman publish in HANSARD the break-down of grants to the different regional boards and, in particular, say whether the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospital Board is getting its fair share?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I am not quite clear whether the hon. Gentleman is now referring to the initial capital allocations or to the £1¾million recently given, to which I also referred in my Answer. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would have a word with me about that point.