HC Deb 16 November 1959 vol 613 cc793-4
33. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Health how far he has accepted the recommendations of the Young-husband Report on Social Workers; what action he proposes to take to implement those recommendations; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Walker-Smith

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have sought the views of local authority and other organisations concerned with this important Report. These are now being received and we are considering the recommendations in the light of them.

Mr. Robinson

Would not the Minister agree that this is not very rapid progress in view of the six months which have elapsed since he had the Report? Will he tell the House, in particular, what progress has been made towards the setting up of a national council for social work training, and would he not agree that there is unlikely to be any development of the community mental health services until some step of this kind has been taken?

Mr. Walker-Smith

In reply to the first part of the supplementary question, I think that progress has been rapid on the Government side. This Report was published on 4th May. As the hon. Gentleman knows, it is a massive document, consisting of 328 pages, 1,129 paragraphs and seven appendices. Only three days later, on 7th May, I approached the County Councils Association, the Association of Municipal Corporations and the London County Council for their views, and, subsequently, other bodies too. Their views are now coming in and, as I say, we will consider them as soon as they are to hand. The national council point requires legislation, and I have no doubt that the hon. Gentleman saw a reference to this in the Conservative election manifesto.