HC Deb 23 March 1950 vol 472 cc2144-5
42. Mr. J. N. Browne

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the concern in the nursing profession and the effect on recruitment caused by the delay in the publication of new salary scales; and whether he will allay this concern by giving an assurance that all grades will be dealt with; and if he will make a statement on the extent to which all new revised scales will be retrospective.

Mr. Bevan

These are all matters for the negotiating machinery in the first instance. The salaries of some of the senior hospital grades are before the Whitley Council. Those of the public health and domiciliary grades have been referred to arbitration.

Mr. Browne

Is the Minister aware that all that is required to cure the deep apprehension in the nursing profession is the simple assurance that all grades will be dealt with and that all pay improvements will be restrospective to 1st February, 1949?

Mr. Bevan

I respectfully suggest to the hon. Gentleman that it is far better to leave these matters to the Whitley machinery.

Brigadier Peto

Will the Minister say whether the new scales will include the midwives' profession.

Mr. Bevan

I think, as I suggested, that it would be very much better if these matters were left in the first instance to the Whitley machinery.

Mrs. Hill

May I ask the Minister, in view of the fact that he has so much power and that the Health Service is within his control, whether he will urge the Whitley Council to get down to this question of the new salary scales? It is a fact that some of the Departments—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."]—I want the Minister to know that the Departments—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Well, will the Minister please give me some satisfaction?

Mr. Bevan

I realise that the hon. Lady has not had much experience of the House, but as a general rule it is just as well that these matters of negotiating scales of salaries and conditions should be left to the appropriate organisation. The less the Minister interferes the better.

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