HC Deb 03 November 1966 vol 735 cc640-1
21 Dr. David Owen

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he is aware that the decision to divorce university clinical teachers' salaries during the period of salary restraint from the increased National Health Service salary scale will adversely affect research and medical education, and increase the tendency to take research posts overseas; and if he will reconsider the matter;

(2) in view of the load of routine National Health Service work that is regularly undertaken by university medical departments, whether he will make administrative arrangements with the Ministry of Health for joint consideration of any decision affecting the salaries of university clinical teachers during the period of salary restraint after January.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Anthony Crosland)

Representatives of the British Medical Association and the British Dental Association gave me their views on this matter at a meeting last week, and I undertook to consider what they had said. I would take no decision on a question of this kind without consulting my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health.

Dr. Owen

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. I hope that he appreciates that this is an acute situation and that these people are under great pressure to leave this country because of their expertise. It would be greatly appreciated if he would look at the dual system of payment whereby they could be repaid by the Minister of Health for their National Health Service commitments.

Mr. Crosland

The representatives of both the B.M.A. and the B.D.A. put these points to me very strongly and I promised that I would give them the most serious consideration, but any response ultimately given must be within the terms of the Government's prices and incomes policy.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind—I think that he has already—that there is here an anomaly by which these clinical lecturers have not come within the range of non-clinical lecturers or within the range of National Health Service employees and that there is a strong risk of our losing first-class men in the brain drain?

Mr. Crosland

Yes, Sir.