§ Mr. LUNN
asked the Minister of Health what was the total number of beds provided in voluntary hospitals throughout the country on the 31st December, 1925, and what is the number to-day; what was the financial position of voluntary hospitals in the aggregate at the latest date of which he has information; and what powers have the Cave Committee to mitigate the financial difficulties of these hospitals?1596W
France, Germany, Italy, and the United States of America, for 1913, and for the years 1919–26, inclusive?
I have no official figures showing the position at the end of 1925, but the survey carried out by the Voluntary Hospitals Commission showed a total 50,460 beds in voluntary hospitals in England and Wales at the end of June, 1924. On the best information at my disposal, the corresponding figure at the 31st December, 1926, was 54,406 beds or an increase in the interval of 2½ years of 3,946 beds. As regards the second part of the question, according to the reports of King Edward's Hospital Fund and of the Red Cross Society, the London hospitals showed an aggregate deficit of £39,000 in 1926, and the rest of England and Wales showed an aggregate surplus of £286,000, the combined figures giving a net surplus of £247,000 for the whole of England and Wales. As regards the third part of the question, Lord Cave's Committee completed their inquiry six years ago. If the hon. Member is referring to the Voluntary Hospitals Commission, the answer is that the Commission have already distributed the full amount voted by Parliament, and they have no funds now at their disposal. The figures I have given are sufficient to show that the financial position of the voluntary hospitals generally has greatly improved since Lord Cave's Committee issued their Report in 1921.