HC Deb 19 November 1976 vol 919 cc1779-80

Lords amendment: No. 46, in page 13, line 41, at end insert 'district' shall have the meaning set out in section 9(7) of the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973".

Mr. Moyle

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

The House has already rejected the proposal that the Health Services Board should have the power to authorise fresh pay beds. This amendment would have been consequential had that proposal been accepted.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendment: No. 47, in page 14, line 1, leave out "six" and insert "twelve".

Mr. Ennals

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

This amendment changed the definition of the initial period from six months to 12 months from the date on which the Act is passed. That was a further delaying tactic. I do not think that my hon. Friends would conceive of letting this go through.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

I shall deal with this matter briefly, because we covered the point a number of times in Committee. The amendment concerns the considerable volume of work which will fall upon the Board if the initial period is to be only six months. I appreciate that there is a power of dispensation in Clause 4 in relation to that matter. But there are a number of other matters on which the Board has to present reports and to undertake work. It was said repeatedly in Committee that the six-months period was too short. That was a figure plucked out of the air for the purpose of the Goodman proposals. In another place the Minister freely acknowledged that Parliament was not necessarily bound by every detail of the Goodman proposals. Their Lordships came to the conclusion that the period ought to be 12 months and that we should proceed with a little less haste and with more deliberation on this matter. The chances are that the decisions which will be made by the Board are more likely to be sensible and rational if the Board is not obliged to proceed over-hastily.

I believe that this is an amendment of considerable importance. I therefore invite my hon. Friends to resist the Government's motion in the Division Lobby.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The Question is, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment.

As many as are of that opinion say "Aye". [HON. MEMBERS: "Aye."] To the contrary "No." [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]

I think that the "Ayes" have it. [HON. MEMBERS: "Aye."] The "Ayes" have it.

Question put and agreed to.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

The next amendment is Lords Amendment No. 48.

Hon. Members


Mr. Deputy Speaker

I put the Question a second time on Lords Amendment No. 47 and there was no indication from the Opposition that they wished to have a Division.

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