Oral Answers to Questions — Voluntary Hospitals (Grants).

– in the House of Commons on 3rd May 1922.

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Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

44.

asked the Minister of Health whether he has received any communications from the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Monmouthshire, and similar institutions, protesting against the decision of the Voluntary Hospitals Commission, which has decided that grants to hospitals shall be based on the income for the year ending 31st December, 1920, or the averages for the three years 1918, 1919, 1920; whether he is aware that for the year 1921, and the immediate following years, it will be impossible to show a similar income owing to reduced earnings of workers and others, which prevents them from subscribing to the same extent: and whether, in order that hospitals should derive some benefit from the £500,000 set aside by the Government, he will take steps to amend the terms and conditions so as to enable this to be done?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

I understand that representations in this sense have been made to the Voluntary Hospitals Commission by certain hospitals in South Wales. It was laid down by the Government as one of the fundamental conditions for grant that assistance should ordinarily be based on the amount of new money raised or in sight, and the Commission have no power to vary this rule; but they may make emergency grants in cases where a hospital has exhausted its realisable assets and without assistance would be compelled to close beds.