HL Deb 10 November 1948 vol 159 cc319-20

2.40 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government, whether voluntary organisations appealing on behalf of the hospital service will be permitted to expose collecting boxes in railway stations and other premises of nationalised undertakings, and to what extent control or supervision of the expenditure will be given to organisations making substantial grants to particular hospitals, and whether direct contributions to the amenity funds of particular hospitals will be exclusively devoted to such hospitals.]


My Lords, my right honourable friends the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland consider that the governing bodies of individual hospitals ought not themselves to appeal for funds through collecting boxes, or by any other means, and that these boxes should not be placed in hospital premises. That, of course, was the gist of the reply given to the noble Lord last week. My right honourable friends, however, see no objection to independent voluntary organisations placing hospital collecting boxes in railway stations and other premises of nationalised undertakings. The decision whether or not to permit this rests, of course, with the authority responsible for each undertaking, but I am informed that the British Transport Commission are willing to allow collecting boxes to be placed, as in the past, in appropriate positions on railway stations.

It is open to the organisation or donor to attach to the gift any conditions they think fit, such as that the money is to be spent for a particular purpose or for the benefit of a particular hospital; and any such conditions would be binding upon the governing body. In reply to the third part of the noble Lord's question, responsibility for the expenditure of donations from organisations or individual donors will rest with the governing body of the hospital.


I am much obliged for the noble Earl's answer, which I think clears the air very much.