24. Miss Ward
asked the Minister of Health whether he will consult with the Service Departments with regard to equality of treatment of nurses employed through the Civil Nursing Reserve and those employed in the Armed Forces, with regard to payments to cover superannuation contributions?
§ Mr. Brown
I am always glad to meet my hon. Friend, and I will do my best to answer the Questions separately. In reply to No. 24, the matter to which my hon. Friend refers was first raised in a letter to my Department dated 10th November, 1939, to which a reply was sent on 20th November to the effect that the matter was governed by a scheme over which the Department had no jurisdiction.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the final answer saying it was not a matter for the Department was sent in October, 1940? May I ask why it took all that time, because it has caused great consternation among the Services that no action has been taken with regard to their superannuation?
§ Mr. Brown
I do not think that my hon. Friend has put the matter in a balanced way. The answer which I tried to give 1495 to her first Question, which I will supplement by the answer to the second Question, was in precise terms. Having looked at the correspondence, I came to the conclusion that a very friendly gesture was made by my predecessor in a matter which was not really his responsibility.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that that friendly gesture, which I appreciate, was made after pressure from those interested in the Services 18 months after negotiations were opened?
25. Miss Ward
asked the Minister of Health on what date he received the first communication from the British Hospitals Association War Emergency Committee dealing with superannuation benefits for officers and nurses employed in voluntary hospitals and serving in various units of His Majesty's Forces; and on what date he finally notified the vice-chairman of the Federated Superannuation Scheme that the matter was not one for his Department?