§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Earl of onslow.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The EARL of DONOUGHMORE in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
LORD MUIR MACKENZIE moved, after Clause 1, to insert the following new clause:—
. The power for an approved society or insurance committee to grant such subscriptions I or donations as they may think fit to hospitals, dispensaries, and other charitable institutions under section twenty-one of the National Health Insurance Act, 1911, shall include power to make such grants to societies or other organisations, approved by the Minister of Health, which are engaged in medical research or the combating or amelioration of illness.
§ The noble and learned Lord said: I was asked to bring an Amendment to this effect before your Lordships, and on being asked to do so the objection that I took was that I thought the Amendment was unnecessary because in my opinion these words: "grants to societies or other organisations approved by the Minister of Health, which are engaged in medical research," were covered by the words of the original Act. Apparently, persons interested have been advised that those words were not covered, and that they did not come within the benefits of the original clause. My next question was to know if they could tell me what were the objections to putting in those words, because on the Papers which I have before me there appeared to be no objection. I was told there was no objection, and that they did not anticipate any objection, but my noble friend who has charge of this Bill tells me that there are, on the contrary, objections. I do not know what they are, and I think I must move the Amendment and ask him to explain what the objections are. I am sure he would not take any objections which were not substantial, 621 and therefore I am anticipating that I shall withdraw my Amendment.
Page 2, line 37, at end insert the said new clause.—(Lord Muir Mackenzie.)
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
This Amendment would enable approved societies to give subscriptions and donations which at present they are unable to do. With regard to the objections, I would point out that if the Amendment were accepted it would increase the charge on the Exchequer, because it would enable societies to give donations and subscriptions, which, as I said, they are not able to do now, and these donations and subscriptions would attract the grant of the two-ninths. That is one objection. Another objection is that this Amendment, by attracting the two-ninths, would increase the charge on the Exchequer, which is against the principle of this Bill, because it is an economy measure to relieve the immediate liabilities of the Exchequer. Again, this Bill is only a temporary measure. The operation is limited to the end of 1923, and to extend the powers of societies to give donations and subscriptions would, I think, be out of place in a temporary measure of this kind. Then, from the financial point of view, the Bill as it stands imposes upon the funds of the societies an extra burden of £2,000,000, and this would increase their burden. Therefore, I suggest that any change such as is foreshadowed by the Amendment would be unwise at the present, time. I hope that the noble Lord will not press the Amendment.
§ LORD MUIR MACKENZIE
Oh, no; I was not aware of the objection, or I think I should not have troubled the House with the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 2:
§ Abolition of Women's Equalisation Fund.
§ 2.—(1) Section two of the National Health Insurance Act, 1918 (which provides for the establishment of the Women's Equalisation Fund), shall cease to have effect, and in the exercise of the power conferred by section twenty-eight of the National Insurance Act, 1913, of making regulations with respect to the crediting or variation or cancellation of reserve values, regard shall be had to the provisions of this section.
§ (2) This section shall be deemed to have had effect as from the first day of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-two.
§ (3) This section shall apply to Northern Ireland.622
THE EARL OF ONSLOW moved, after subsection (2), to insert:
Provided that nothing in this section shall render invalid any scheme or regulation duly made before the passing of this Act under the said section two of the National Health Insurance Act, 1918, and any scheme or regulation so made shall have full effect.
§ The noble Earl said: Certain Regulations relating to the Women's Equalisation Fund for the years 1920–21 have been made under Section 2 of the National Health Insurance Act, 1918, since January 1 last, and as, strictly speaking, under the Bill the section in question ceases to have effect as from January 1 last, this Amendment is proposed in order that the Regulations shall not Le invalidated. It is really a drafting Amendment.
Clause 2, page 3, line 5, at end insert the said proviso.—(The Earl of Onslow.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 2, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clauses 3 and 4 agreed to.
§ Clause 5:
§ Application to Scotland, &c.
§ 5.—(1) In the application of this Act to Scotland two shillings and ninepence shall be substituted for two shillings and fourpence halfpenny, the Scottish Board of Health shall be substituted for the Minister of Health, and twopence halfpenny shall be substituted for three halfpence, and section one of this Act shall have effect as if there were inserted after the word "benefits" in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) thereof the words "and the provision of a medical service for insured persons in such districts of Scotland (other than the Highlands and Islands within the meaning of the Highlands and Islands (Medical Service) Grant Act, 1913) as may be determined by the Scottish Board of Health to be necessitous."
§ (2) In the application of this Act to Wales, two shillings and elevenpence halfpenny shall be substituted for two shillings and fourpence halfpenny and twopence shall be substituted for three halfpence.
§ (3) This Act shall not (except as therein otherwise expressly provided) apply to Ireland.
§ THE EARL OF ONSLOW moved, at the beginning of the clause, to leave out "In the application of this Act to Scotland," and to insert: "This Act shall apply to Scotland subject to the following modifications, that is to say." The noble Earl said: Clause 1 of this Bill applies in terms to England only, and it is therefore necessary that the Scottish and Welsh application clauses should provide that the Bill should apply to Scotland and Wales.623
Clause 5, page 3, leave out line 32 and insert the said words.—(The Earl of Onslow.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
Clause 5, page 4, line 3, leave out ("In the application of this Act to Wales") and insert ("This Act shall apply to Wales subject to the following modifications, that is to say").—(The Earl of Onslow.)
§ On Question, Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause 5, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 6 agreed to.