HC Deb 17 November 1958 vol 595 c837
44. Mr. Gough

asked the Minister of Health what progress has been made in regard to the building of Crawley Hospital; and on what date he anticipates the hospital building will be completed.

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.

Mr. Gough

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of my hon. Friend's reply, I shall try to raise this matter on the Adjournment as soon as possible.