HC Deb 14 December 1939 vol 355 cc1287-9W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Minister of Health whether the communication by Sir Charles Wilson in a London daily paper, dated from the Ministry of Health and of a propagandist nature, regarding the staffing and use of the London hospitals, was made with his approval; and, if not, whether he will take steps to see that no unofficial communications emanate from his Department?

The statistical records do not show how many of these cases occurred during hours of darkness but it is known that offences of this kind usually take place in darkness or in fog. The Commissioner is giving special attention to this matter with a view to ensuring that every effort is made to deal with this form of crime.

Sir G. Matheson

asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the number of cases of burglary during black-out hours in each of the last three months in the Metropolitan area, and in the rest of England, respectively; and will he give a comparison of these figures with those of the same periods during 1938?

Sir J. Anderson

Figures for the whole country are not available. The following are the figures for the Metropolitan Police district.

Mr. Elliot

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. I think that the principle indicated in the second part of the question, which applies, of course, to both permanent and temporary officers of Departments, is generally well understood by those concerned. The dating of the letter in question from the Ministry of Health was, I am assured, quite accidental.

Mr. Pritt

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the number of emergency beds provided by the London County Council and other municipal authorities under the emergency hospital scheme is much in excess of those provided by the voluntary hospitals, but that the former are not provided with anything like the same proportion of extra doctors and surgeons; and whether he will state the proportions of extra doctors and surgeons engaged under this scheme in voluntary and municipal hospitals, respectively, relative to the number of emergency beds provided?

Mr. Elliot

The number of beds available in municipal institutions is naturally larger than in voluntary hospitals. It is the case that the proportion of medical staff enrolled in the Emergency Medical Service, to casualty beds, is higher in the case of the voluntary hospitals than in that of the municipal hospitals, but in the latter hospitals the medical staff available for casualties includes also a number of doctors in the employment of the local authority but not enrolled in the Emergency Medical Service. In any case, I do not consider that any useful conclusion could be drawn from a comparison between the respective proportions of beds to medical staff in the two types of hospital. The medical staffing of a hospital included in the Emergency Hospital Scheme is governed by medical needs, and depends on a number of factors, such as the probable use and the arrangements with affiliated hospitals.