HC Deb 30 April 1968 vol 763 cc979-80
5. Mr. Renée Short

asked the Minister of Health if he is satisfied with the action taken by local authorities to implement the provisions of the Family Planning Act; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. K. Robinson

I have still not received sufficient reports from local authorities to enable me to say.

Mrs. Short

In that case, would my right hon. Friend adopt a rather more energetic attitude towards the local authorities that appear to be dragging their feet on this matter? Does he not agree that this could make a very valuable contribution to the problem that many of us face in the Midlands? Will he see that the local authorities really carry out the responsibilities that Parliament has placed upon them?

Mr. Robinson

My hon. Friend and the House know my attitude towards this matter. Whether or not she considers my action energetic enough, I can tell her that I have already reminded authorities and approximately 60 per cent. have so far responded.

Mr. Brooks

Would my right hon. Friend agree that those authorities dragging their feet are adopting a very shortsighted attitude, not least financially? Would he consider circulating to such authorities a cost-benefit analysis, which would show the advantages of a comprehensive family planning service?

Mr. Robinson

I am sure that this consideration will not be out of the minds of local authorities generally. I would not wish to be drawn to comment on this until I have had the chance to study the general picture, which will be available when the remaining authorities have reported to me.