Orders of the Day — National Health Service Contributions Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6th June 1957.

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Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North 12:00 am, 6th June 1957

I was rather interested in finding at this late stage of the Bill that one of the three Joint Under-Secretaries of State for Scotland made the short opening speech. He said that it seemed much better when we were dealing in Committee with a purely Scottish Bill that he should give his attention to it and leave his right hon. Friend the Minister of Health to cope with this Bill right up to the last minute. Surely, that is no reason for a Scottish Minister having taken no part in the Second Reading or Committee stage of the Bill?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State is not the only Scottish Minister responsible for health and housing matters in Scotland. There is also the Secretary of State himself. The Joint Under-Secretary cannot tell us that the Secretary of State was so involved with the Housing and Town Development (Scotland) Bill that he could not give any attention to this Bill, because he knows in very truth that the Secretary of State had little or nothing to do with the Housing Bill from Second Reading to Third Reading. It was on the Committee stage that the excuse was given that he was so busy with this Bill.