HC Deb 29 June 1967 vol 749 c731
27. Dame Joan Vickers

asked the Minister of Overseas Development what action has been taken by him to help with the provision of a new hospital, with a ward for mental patients, in Tonga.

Mr. Bottomley

Within the last few days a grant of £195,200 has been approved towards the cost of construction of the new Vaiola hospital in Tonga.

There is in the plans of the Tonga Government for this hospital no special provision for mental patients.

Dame Joan Vickers

While I thank the Minister for that reply, may I remind him that the mental patients are now going to the prison? Does not he think that it is essential if a new hospital is being constructed that there should be a special ward for these people?

Mr. Bottomley

I know of the hon. Lady's great interest in these matters, and I share her sympathy, but it is a matter for the Tonga Government.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Would the Minister suggest to the Government of Tonga that one way of helping their citizens would be to bring their law up to date?

Mr. Boffomley

I am sure that note will be taken of that.