National Health Service

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National Health Service

The Cabinet discussed the changes they proposed to make to the plan for a National Health Service which had been outlined in a White Paper that had been presented to Parliament in February 1944.  The Health Ministers sought authority to announce the changes, in general terms, before the election.  The original scheme had aroused opposition in some quarters, and it was thought that it would be desirable if it was made clear, before the election, that the government was prepared to modify certain features of the plan.  Otherwise it would mean that candidates who supported the government would be in a position of having to defend the original plan at the election when Ministers were in fact prepared to change.  It was obviously a heated discussion, which resulted in the following exchange:

R.A.B.

Let Minister make announcement of results of his discussions.
But don't let us be finally committed to a post-Election health policy.

M/H.

But I've bn. negotiating on behalf of Govt.

R.A.B.

I refuse to decide this to-day.

W.M.(45)9th Meeting held on 11 June 1945.