Clause 7. — (Removal of Hardships.)

Part of Orders of the Day — National Health Service (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 9th December 1949.

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Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Combined Scottish Universities 12:00 am, 9th December 1949

I think again that the Parliamentary Secretary is not completely accurate. We gave the Minister power to make regulations just as he is taking here. He has the power to make regulations and charges on anybody and in any amount, the only criterion being, "not ordinarily resident in Great Britain." That in fact was the criterion which we applied. Naturally we are glad to see this sign of grace. We are glad to have it admitted at last by the Minister that there was a case in the representations put forward. I trust that the Press will also be gratified to find the Minister apologising, although a little tardily, and admitting that the case put forward in the Press has a certain amount of basis. Naturally, the Minister minimises the basis of it. The Minister sufficiently admits the case to ask King, Lords and Commons to give him power to deal with this abuse and I trust very much that it will obviate the necessity in which the Minister, and indeed the Government, were placed before that, when the determination whether people were coming into this country for the purpose of seeking medical advice or not was left to the immigration officer to decide. I think that that was the crowning absurdity and I am glad to find that that absurdity is to be erased from our administration. Of course, we welcome the new Clause.

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