HC Deb 26 July 1965 vol 717 cc30-1
36. Lord Balniel

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what has been the outcome of his discussions with other Ministers concerning the desirability of appointing an inter-disciplinary council to co-ordinate research and recruiting, training and deployment of social workers.

Mr. Houghton

I passed the noble Lord's suggestion to the Ministers concerned and, as a result, an inter-Departmental study of the recruitment, training and deployment of social workers is being made.

Lord Balniel

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his first courteous answer this afternoon. Would he not agree that this is a small reform which could be of great value to social workers and to families in need, and would he consider initiating this reform before the result of his long-range review on social security?

Mr. Houghton

I can give the assurance that this matter is being considered quite separately from the long-range review of social security. The official committee will report to me and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we shall consider these matters as soon as we can.

Mr. Ridsdale

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that we want less talk of review and more action?

Dame Joan Vickers

While the right hon. Gentleman is considering the shortage of social workers, would he consider the establishment of an all-purpose social worker on the lines of those in France?

Mr. Houghton

We are considering all aspects of this matter. I think that we had better await the report of the inter-Departmental Committee before we can study the classification of social workers, the types of training and recruitment available and generally consider what form of social worker we shall require in social security for the next ten years.

Mr. Lipton

Will my right hon. Friend now prepare himself for the possibility that he will be asked by hon. Members opposite every week from now until the publication of the report when the report is to be presented?

Mr. Houghton

I understand that we are to have a little respite before then.