HC Deb 09 December 1957 vol 579 cc896-7
38. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the letter sent to him by the Blackburn and District Health Services branch of the National Association of Local Government Officers, informing him of their decision to operate an overtime ban in protest against the Government's veto on their recent award; and what reply he has sent.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Yes, Sir. The reasons for the decision to withhold approval have been explained to the Branch.

Mrs. Castle

Is it not outrageous that the Minister should compel these decent men and women who take a great pride in their work in the National Health Service to take this action, which is repugnant to them? Further, is he not aware that if they were not concerned with the patients, whom they put first, they could bring the National Health Service to a standstill, but they are too decent to do so? Is it not outrageous that he should exploit them in this fashion? How much longer does he intend to continue worsening relationships within the Service?

Mr. Mellish

The Minister will have to do something about it.

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker


Mr. Walker-Smith

Both the phraseology of that Question and the tone in which it was put suggest that the hon. Lady was more concerned with matters of debate than with seeking information. We have already had several opportunities to debate this matter in the House, of which the hon. Lady could have taken advantage.