§ 2.42 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask her Majesty's Government whether they have any date in mind for implementation of the Conservative Party's 1949 pledge "We shall allow private patients to obtain free of charge drugs prescribed by their doctors on a parity with people in the state scheme."]
§ LORD NEWTON
My Lords, Her Majesty's Government have no date in mind at present for the introduction of legislation to enable private patients to obtain drugs on the same terms as patients receiving general medical treatment under the National Health Service.
§ LORD OGMORE
My Lords, may I ask whether this is another of the promises unfulfilled by the Conservative Party?
THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL AND MINISTER FOR SCIENCE (LORD HAILSHAM)
My Lords, I do not think that is at all a fair question. The promises of the Conservative Party are always kept. The reference of the noble Lord was to an Election manifesto of 1949, when we lost the Election.
§ LORD OGMORE
My Lords, may I ask the noble Viscount whether the fact that the Conservative Party loses an Election absolves them from all responsibility for pledges they have given?
§ VISCOUNT HAILSHAM
My Lords, the merits of the question are one thing, but I should have thought it was well understood that when you lose an Election you are not bound by the promises in your Election manifesto.
§ THE EARL OF SWINTON
My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord, Lord Ogmore, whether it was that which caused him to change his allegiance?