HC Deb 17 July 1956 vol 556 cc1014-5
6. Mr. Swingler

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, the relationship between the scales of pay and allowances laid down for members of the staffs of research councils working under the Privy Council; who is responsible for co-ordinating them; and if he will take steps to introduce standard scales for persons with similar qualifications.

Mr. Bevins

The respective committees of the Privy Council are responsible for approving the pay and allowances of members of the staff of the research councils. In practice, this duty falls upon my noble Friend the Lord President of the Council in consultation with the Treasury. He has regard to the nature of the work and the responsibilities of the people concerned. Broadly speaking, Civil Service standards obtain, but the Medical Research Council is in a somewhat special position and its scientific staffs are aligned with the universities while most of its technical staffs are aligned with the National Health Service.

Mr. Swingler

Does the Parliamentary Secretary agree that those who work for the research councils and research associations should not fall below the comparable Civil Service rates of pay? Cannot something be done by the D.S.I.R. in relation to the research associations and by the Parliamentary Secretary's noble Friend to see that there are uniform scales of pay for persons who hold similar qualifications, which is not the case at the moment?

Mr. Bevins

As a broad principle, I think that my noble Friend would be in agreement with what the hon. Member says, but there are exceptional cases. For example, the technical staffs of the Medical Research Council mainly work alongside technical workers in hospitals and are paid at Health Service rates of pay, but I understand that in that particular case, which is rather difficult, a claim to be paid at Civil Service rates of pay is under consideration.

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