84. Mr. EDMUND HARVEY
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the action of the guardians of the West Ham Union in informing the officers in their service, including the whole-time medical staff, matron, nurses and indentured probationer nurses of the Whipps Cross hospital, that they desire them to become members of a trade union affiliated to the Trade Union Congress, and to the decision of the board of guardians to review the position with reference to existing officers at the expiration of two months from the adoption by the board of this recommendation; whether he has had any communication with the board as to their action in this matter; and whether, in view of the special difficulties that the action of the guardians has caused to the medical and nursing staff, he will take steps to prevent the imposition of such a regulation by the board of guardians?
My right hon. Friend is aware of the action of the guardians, though he has not been in direct communication with them. The guardians do not appear to be exceeding their legal powers, and my right hon. Friend does not see that the matter is one in which he could usefully take any action.
Does the Minister consider it right that a medical staff and nurses and probationers should have their careers injured if they do not join a trade union affiliated to the Trade Union Congress?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in an adjoining borough this matter has been quite peacefully arranged between the employés and the authorities concerned, and that one of the Courts has upheld the right of the local authority to impose this condition?
§ Major MOULTON
Would the Minister also consider whether he would not be called on to interfere if the resolution of the guardians excluded trade unionists?
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the men and women in question do not object to receiving trade union rates of pay from the guardians?