HC Deb 26 January 1948 vol 446 cc636-7
5. Air-Commodore Harvey

asked the Minister of Food if he will now increase the rations of hospital nurses and also district nurses, in 1Piew of their long hours of work.

Mr. Strachey

I am afraid that I could not base differential rations on the number of hours worked by the individual.

Air - Commodore Harvey

Is the Minister aware that that is a most unsatisfactory answer? Is he aware that district nurses spend all hours of the day and night out in the country, and are thus unable to do their shopping; and that, in the case of hospital nurses, it will not assist the recruiting of these young ladies if they are to work all hours of the day and night and be completely underfed?

Mr. Strachey

If there is a case for differential rationing for any trade or profession, it should be taken up through the Trades Union Congress.

Mr. J. S. C. Reid

Does the Minister intend to leave to the decision of the Trades Union Congress whether nurses are to get enough to eat?

Mr. Strachey

Certainly not, but I do mean to state that I would not consider changing the differential rations as between different categories of workers without receiving the advice of the Trades Union Congress Advisory Committee on the matter.

Mr. Frank Byers

May I ask the Minister to which trade union the district nurses should apply in the first place?

Mr. Strachey

It depends whether they have an organisation of their own, and I hope they have, but, if they have not, they should get one.

Hon. Members


Air-Commodore Harvey

In view of the seriousness of this matter, I beg to give notice that I shall raise it on the Motion for the Adjournment.