Mexborough and Swinton Times, August 26
Glorious Weather and a Great Success.
Mr GH Hirst, M.P. on the Voluntary System.
The Denaby Main HospitalSunday Committee were favoured beyond their greatest expectations on Sunday, when one of the most beautiful days of the whole year was experienced.
The annual hospital demonstration was originally fixed for July 16, but on that day, rain fell incessantly and the demonstration was postponed. On the second date the pleasant summerlike conditions attracted almost all Denaby to the demonstration, which was the most impressive and successful yet held. A very large crowd gathered in the field, where the service was held.
The procession included the Ambulance Brigade, nurses, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, members of the friendly societies, Sunday schoolchildren, and the Wath, Mexborough and Conisborough Fire Brigades.
For the service the choir was assisted by the Denaby Main Ambulance Men, Mr H Wigley conducting. Mr H.C.Harrison presided, and was supported by Mr G.H.Hirst, M.P, Mr G.V.Stone (Sheffield), Mr W.Rawlins (Doncaster), and others.
The chairman said they did not require to be told what the object of the demonstration was. If anybody in Denaby did not know what the object was, they had either just come to Denabyor had beendeaf for the last six or seven years (laughter)
Mr G.H.Hirst, M.P.said that for a long time he thought that their hospital should be State aided, but since becoming a Member of Parliament he had altered his opinion somewhat, because, knowing something of State Administration, he thought it would cost the workers of this country about four times as much as it did at present to maintain the hospitals. A short time ago a Commission had been set up to enquire into the position and ascertain if the voluntary system had failed.
That commission came to the conclusion that the voluntary system had not failed, and those peoplewho hadbeen out for State aided hospitals should now put their backs into the movement, and say that the voluntary system should be revived and that it should not die out.
The commission commended that the government should set assist those hospitals which are in debt by giving them £1 million. Those hospitals which kept their heads above water would not participate in that scheme at all. When the recommendation of the committee came before the government it was reduced from £1 million to £500,000. The voluntary system, had not failed, and he thought everybody who looked into that cottage hospital of theirs would feel proud that the workers of Denaby had such an institution.
If they looked at the human side of the hospital he thought they would all say that the voluntary system should not fail but that they would see to it that their hospitalshad enough money to carry on. The hospital accommodation of this country was by no means sufficient to meet the requirements, and the hospital committee were studying the best means of extending their institutions.
So far as their own little institution was concerned, he understood there were about to launch out on a new expenditure in order to equip the hospital with x-rays. It was very nice to introduce all the modern appliances to their institutions so as to have it as nearly fully equipped as they could, but all that sort of thing required money. They could not now, and he hoped they never would, relax their efforts on behalf of their hospitals.
His contention was that it was a privilege to pay towards the maintenance of such institutions, for they had health and strength and were able to help some unfortunate brother, who was inside.
He hoped the demonstration would be a success, and that the financial results will be greater than ever in its history. (Applause.)
Mr G.V. Stone said he wished to make an earnest appeal to them to do all they could to support their hospitals. They ought to be very thankful for the work which their fathers had done in commencing the struggles of the country, and they should be prepared to see that work was carried on and that the necessary funds were forthcoming.
The hospitals of the country contains some of the cleverest men in the world, who gave their services to the public free, whereas, in private practice, theywould probably very quickly make their fortune. It was not only their privilege to help their fellow men, but it was their duty. Those people had their health and strength that day to enable them to be present at that demonstration or to do all in their power to help those who did not enjoy those advantages, and he hoped that support would always be forthcoming for the Denaby hospital.
Cllr Rollings, of Doncaster, said he was very pleased to hear that Mr Hirst had altered his views on State control. He had always been opposed to it and he thought anyone who seen anything of State control new enough to be able to say that they did not want any more of it, and to cry. “Hands off!” when the hospitals were mentioned.
The hospitals belong to the people, and the voluntary system had not failed, and they should be prepared to say they would see it should not fail either, and that the hospital should not pass out of their hands.