HC Deb 22 February 1945 vol 408 cc925-6
4. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour if lie is aware of the dissatisfaction felt by Scottish representatives who attended the recent meeting convened by his Department in London to consider the problem of recruiting attendants for mental institutions; that these representatives have reported that the acute shortage of attendants in Scottish institutions was never discussed nor their prepared case heard; and, in view of the grave nature of the problem in Scotland, what action he proposes to take to meet the local authorities' needs.

Mr. Bevin

I assume my right hon. Friend is referring to the recent meeting of the National Advisory Council for the Recruitment and Distribution of Nurses and Midwives held on 26th January. Discussions at meetings of the council are confidential. I am, however, assured by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, who is chairman of the Council, that the Scottish representatives, like others present, had full opportunity to contribute to the discussion on the problem of the recruitment of nursing staff for mental institutions. The discussion was not concluded, but will be continued at the next meeting to which the Scottish representatives have again been invited.

Mr. Stewart

In view of the statements made by these representatives on their return to Scotland, will my right hon. Friend indicate when the next meeting is likely to be held?

Mr. Bevin

It is a matter of profound regret that, if a Minister has a confidential meeting with public representatives, they should go back to Scotland and make statements. I should have to inquire about the next meeting.

Mr. Muff

Is the same inquiry going on with regard to English mental institutions?

Mr. Bevin

Certainly, Sir. The mental institution problem from the point of view of manning is a difficult one and I am doing my best to solve it for both England and Wales and Scotland.

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