HC Deb 13 December 1950 vol 482 cc1125-6
35. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many girls or women from the Colonies since the end of the war have completed their training as nurses and have returned to their homeland; how many of these have been appointed as sisters or other senior posts particularly in West Africa; how many are still in training in this country; and in what Colonies nurses are required to relinquish their posts on marriage.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Eighty-four, including 26 scholarship holders, have completed courses of training since the end of the war. I understand that the majority have returned or will shortly return to their own countries, but my information in regard to the private students is incomplete. I know of 14 cases in which offers of appointment as sisters or in comparable posts have been made or are about to be made. Three of these are in West Africa. But there have been, in addition, a large number of local appointments which would not come officially to my notice.

Seven hundred and ninety women are in training in the United Kingdom as nurses at present, including 125 scholarship holders. In most Colonies nurses may be required to resign on marriage, but cases are usually considered on their merits.

Mr. Sorensen

Is my right hon. Friend aware that nurses from colonial areas who have trained in this country have given very great and valuable service to our hospitals, and that some of them find it difficult to get senior posts when they return home? In view of that, would he not consider finding some means of encouraging the appointment of African and other colonial nurses to senior posts?

Mr. Griffiths

I agree with my hon. Friend when he says that while training here these nurses render valuable service. I am most anxious that when they go back home, having been trained here, they shall be given posts which are appropriate in view of the training which they have received. I will certainly do anything I can to help.

Dr. Barnett Stross

With reference to the last sentence in the original Question, would my right hon. Friend use all his influence to point out that it is most wasteful if nurses of any kind, from any part of the Dominions or the Colonial Empire, are asked to relinquish their posts on marriage?

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