HL Deb 02 November 1948 vol 159 cc184-5

4.32 p.m.


asked His Majesty's Government whether the removal of hospital collecting boxes from railway stations is not contrary to their expressed wish that private subscriptions to hospitals should continue. The noble Lord said: My Lords, in putting down the very important question which stands in my name, I am afraid I have been guilty of a mistake. It appears to me that there are four different answers which His Majesty's Government might give me, to two of which I could not take exception but on two of which I should like to make some observations. In putting the question, I am technically making a speech and, of course, I am not allowed to speak a second time on the subject. I am certainly not going to inflict upon your Lordships this afternoon a speech containing two quite different arguments, in anticipation of a possible reply by His Majesty's Government which, I hope, will be quite satisfactory. The only thing I can do in putting my question is to say that if the answer is disappointing I shall put it down another time. With those remarks, I beg leave to ask the question which stands in my name.


My Lords, the reply is: No. My right honourable friends the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland hope, and, indeed, are confident, that private generosity, which has done so much for the hospital service in the past, will not now come to an end. But they do not consider it proper that the new governing bodies of hospitals, which are public bodies financed from public funds and are no longer dependent upon private charity, should themselves appeal for funds. Appeals made by independent voluntary organisations on behalf of the hospital service or of particular hospitals, for money to provide extras and amenities outside the ordinary running of the service, are of course a wholly different matter.


I am obliged to the noble Lord for his reply. It is not what I had hoped for, and perhaps your Lordships will hear from me again on this matter.