§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. Richard Thompson)
Tenders have been invited for the first stage of building, with a view to work starting before the end of the financial year. It is estimated that this work will take about two years to complete.
§ Mr. Gough
Does not my hon. Friend agree that this whole story of Crawley Hospital represents a public scandal and is an epic of bureaucratic muddle, stubbornness and stupidity? Does he not further realise that his right hon. and learned Friend's predecessors have given me assurance after assurance and promise after promise since September, 1954, during which period the population of Crawley has grown by 26,000? Will he ask his right hon. and learned Friend to institute a departmental inquiry into this matter?
§ Mr. Thompson
While recognising my hon. Friend's assiduity in these matters, I do not accept any of the implications of his supplementary question. My right hon. and learned Friend does not feel that an inquiry is called for. I remind my hon. Friend that this is a very large and costly scheme involving planning on a most extensive scale. The first stage is now under way.