HC Deb 20 February 1963 vol 672 cc418-9
5. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many fully-staffed maternity beds he estimates will be available in the National Health Service hospitals in Scotland by 30th September, 1963.

Mr. Brooman-White

About 3,240.

Dr. Mabon

Does not this represent a tortoise rate of advance? Does not the Minister realise that the Montgomery Report, in 1959, anticipated the provision of maternity beds in a far shorter time? Cannot the Government speed up this matter as the lack of maternity beds can cause a great deal of human misery and in some cases tragedy?

Mr. Brooman-White

The accommodation which will be provided at the new maternity hospital at York Hill in Glasgow towards the end of the year represents a step towards the solution of this problem. The hon. Member will be aware that the standard of accommodation for births in hospitals in Scotland compares favourably with that in other parts of the country.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

If this is a matter of shortage of money, will the Minister approach the Prime Minister and explain to the right hon. Gentleman that maternity beds would prove a better long-term investment than Polaris submarines?