HC Deb 07 March 1962 vol 655 c380
10. Mr. Fernyhough

asked the Minister of Defence what was the total cost of running the Hertford Hospital, Paris, during the last financial year; and what was the cost per week for each occupied bed.

Mr. Watkinson

The total cost was £134,415, giving a figure of £83 10s. Id. per week for each occupied bed. In view of these high costs it was decided to terminate military use of the hospital as from 30th November last year. Our main requirements are now covered by an agreement with the American Military Hospital in Paris.

Mr. Fernyhough

While I am very glad to have that news, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will not agree that it has taken his Ministry a very long time to arrive at that decision? It is more than three years since the Public Accounts Committee referred to the extravagance and cost of the hospital. I am very glad that the Minister has at last decided to do the only right and proper thing.

Mr. Watkinson

I do not at all disagree with the hon. Gentleman that the hospital was costing far too much. I regret that it was not possible to end its military use sooner, but we had great difficulty, unfortunately, in finding alternative accommodation.