§ 4.24 p.m.
§ Mr. Quintin Hogg (St. Marylebone)
I beg to move,That this House regrets that, far from fulfilling their promises, Her Majesty's Government have pursued policies which have aggravated the loss to the United Kingdom of qualified and skilled manpower; and calls upon Her Majesty's Government to encourage men and women of ability to remain at home by pursuing policies in the field of health, education and science better designed to that end.This debate will, of course, end in a Division on party lines. Nevertheless I trust that I will be forgiven for expressing the hope that we may get more out of the debate than what I may describe as an ordinary party wrangle. There are legitimate party points to be made on both sides of this discussion, and I hope that they will be made. Part of the criticism that I level against the Government in this matter is that in opposition they chose to misrepresent the nature of the problem and now that they are the Government they have become the victims of their own propaganda.
But I trust that what I have to say may provide some common measure of agreement on some topics and I can assure hon. Members opposite that although part of what I have to say will inevitably be controversial it is said in a desire to make some impression upon their minds, because I believe that a fundamental change of approach, not merely lit the party opposite, but in the country, towards this matter is one of the conditions of success.
We have therefore chosen this subject of the so-called brain drain as the topic of this Supply Day debate because of its intrinsic and, as we think, urgent importance. It was not that we grudged to hon. Members opposite their debate on Vietnam; it is that this subject, whether more or less important than the great international subjects which hon. Members wish to discuss, is the sole responsibility of this country, Government and House. If we do not care about it no 122 one else will. if we do not do anything about it, it is certain that nothing will be done.
If I may quote from the Prime Minister on 11th February, 1964:Britain has got the brains, it is the job of the Government to see that we keep them here.Although I did not at that time wholly agree with everything he said, and I do not wholly agree with it now, what is quite certain is that if we do not take the matter seriously no one else will. Nor can I altogether accept the criticism which came from the Liberal benches, from the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) who is not now in his place, to the effect that such a debate was premature, on the grounds that a committee is considering the subject.
With respect, that is an unnecessarily feckless approach to the problem. I make no complaint that at the time of the debate in another place last December the Government saw fit to set up another Committee. I have no doubt that there were good reasons for doing so. But we have had committees on the brain drain before—a good number of them. The Royal Society carried out an inquiry and made a report in 1961. Following that, the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy conducted another inquiry, which I commissioned, and reported at the beginning of 1963.
Sir Willis Jackson made another report last October and so did Mr. Swann in his paper "Parameters of Scientific Growth", published also by the Government. The Library of this House has prepared for the purpose of today's debate a lengthy bibliography consisting of numerous well-informed papers on various aspects of the subject, not all in the English language.
The broad facts of the situation arc well known. It may be that figures are difficult to come by and, when they come, are sometimes stale and incomplete. They will be incomplete as long as, quite deliberately, Governments refuse to subject travellers at the ports to the kind of interrogation which would be necessary to elicit the requisite material. I do not know whether the Government adhere to this policy, for which there is much to be said. I ask simply to inquire whether that situation still remains.
123 The facts, however, are well known. If remedies are hard to find, it is not because the facts are not known. It is because the causes are deep-seated and intractable and because the decisions which will have to be made, and about which I wish to make some suggestions this afternoon, are at least likely to upset a great number of our ingrained prejudices. It is a mark of intellectual and moral decline if a nation or a party seeks to use pendency of an inquiry to delay discussion upon a subject when the policy decisions can be based upon material that is already well known.
I begin by this brief reflection on the nature of the political and moral crisis facing the country. For a country in the position of our own there is only one recipe for salvation, and that is the pursuit of excellence in every department. There are political and moral reasons for this. The world is littered with the disjecta membra of forgotten empires and each nation that experiences a decline from imperial status is inevitably caught up in the moral and spiritual vacuum which demands on the part of its national leaders the exposure of the people of their country to a more than usually severe challenge in the way of excellence. There are, however, in addition economic and technical reasons why this should be so.
Our own nation was the first in the field in the Industrial Revolution. Our traditional industries are amongst the oldest known to the Industrial Revolution—coal, rail, steel and textiles, for example. Some of them, like many other ancient institutions, tend to become a little fossilised in their habits. Others may be in the end on the way out; we do not know. But all the time, new centres of industrial production, largely in the same basic fields, challenge competition with ourselves, both in the industrialised countries and in those hitherto not industrialised.
Japan, for instance, which before the war largely produced shoddy and substandard goods, is today producing articles of the highest quality. The same can be said of India, Pakistan and Hong Kong. It is a mistake to think either that their plant is not up-to-date or in some cases that the wages paid are much 124 below our own. They are all producing competitive goods in the same sectors as ourselves. Therefore, for such a country as ours there is only one precept, which is excellence: excellence in every field, politically, socially, economically and technologically.
For that, three broad conditions are necessary. The first is a first-class system of formal education, from the infant classes of the junior school right up to the post-graduate studies in the university, and research and development, from the most generalised type of culture to the most specialised kind of vocational training. It needs advanced industries. We cannot do without them, even if they are expensive, even if they have to be supported, as the aerospace industry or the atomic energy industry requires to be supported, partly by Government funds. We need to permeate the whole of our technology and the whole of our administration with the scientific approach. Lastly, we must see that out scale of social values matches the needs of real justice and not what we imagine that justice ought to be like.
Therefore, when we see a group of our fellow countrymen opting out of our society, opting out of the supposed benefits which we are showering upon them and going across the Atlantic to a society so conservative in its outlook from some points of view that it would make my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-West (Mr. Powell) appear like a pale reflection of his red-headed counterpart on the opposite benches, we must reflect that some of our judgments about what social justice may be are being condemned by part of our population. We have to build a society in which no group of people, no class in society, feel that they are unwanted, undervalued or superfluous. That applies not less to our gifted children than to our normal or handicapped children.
However far we may have fallen short of this ideal in other respects, I believe that we are much nearer an educational Utopia than we imagine. To some, that will seem strange or even complacent. There are some people who see nothing but the overcrowded classrooms, the slum schools, the shortage of teachers, rioting students and delinquent school-leavers and who think either that the whole 125 thing is no good or that great condemnation has to be passed upon all those who have played their part in it.
I do not take that view. To speak in such language is to miss the wood for the trees. The broad fact is that by any human standard or criterion one chooses, ours is one of the best educated societies in the world. There are very few countries which enjoy an educational system as good as hours.
If, looking across the Floor of the House from one side to the other, we see points of criticism, let us remember to begin with that our criticisms are directed to the educational system of the 1930s under which we were brought up and not to the educational system of the present day which we have never experienced ourselves but to which our children are being exposed.
It is precisely the excellence of our education that, in one way, makes us more vulnerable to the brain drain. Mr. William Douglas, a gentleman of whom I had not heard before I prepared this speech, is the President of Careers Incorporated, in New York City, and head of the mission which recruits talent from this country to go to the United States. As he observed in a Press conference,There is something different about British education. It produces quality and not quantity.There is the rub. The brain drain is not entirely spontaneous.
I am not saying that, if there were no recruiting campaign, there would be no brain drain. Such is not true. However, let this be said rather bluntly to begin with. I have said it before, and in such a way as to cause the maximum of offence. I say it again, and I hope that it will continue to cause offence until it ceases to be true. The American high school system is not sufficiently good to produce high-class graduates on the scale required by American industry, American universities and the American Government. That is the fact, even if Cambridge graduates try to stop a man getting an honorary degree when he says so.
It is said that the United States are 30,000 physicists short. It is said that at the moment there are five or ten vacant places for physicists in America for every single indigenous applicant. Of course, it is not only in physics 126 and medicine, or of scientists, engineers and technicians that that is true. America is littered with European expatriates. Skilled workers, teachers, technicians, artists, entertainers and writers have flocked to the United States, and they bring up their children as United States citizens.
What has happened is that, in order to supply its needs, the society of the richest country in the world has been plundering the educational systems of Western Europe. We must not think that the brain drain is limited to the United Kingdom. Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and, to a lesser extent, France, Italy and Greece are all laid under tribute for the purpose. Even after four years I still think that there is something disreputable about the richest nation in the world laying under tribute those whose educational systems are at least as good as and better than its own and who can less well afford to lose the products of those educational systems.
Let us remember that it creates a vacuum further afield than that. Sucked into the void created by the fact that 4,000 British scientists and 350 doctors leave these shores and cross the Atlantic every year, come the graduates from less well developed countries such as India, Pakistan and Africa to fill our needs when their own countries can afford to lose them so little.
This is not purely a national problem. Nothing better could exemplify the biblical maxim,… from him that bath not shall be taken away even that which he hath,than the brain drain viewed as an international phenomenon.
What can we do? Can we afford to let it go on for ever? Is it, like the brain drain that has been going on for the past 350 years, something about which we need not worry too much? I do not think that it is. Even from the point of view of money, it costs about £20,000 to produce a Ph.D., about £10,000 to produce a first-degree graduate, and probably about half that to produce an C.S.E. school-leaver. We cannot afford to lose such investments, even if we could afford to lose the increase in national wealth which, working here, such high quality products of our educational system would produce.
127 I do not believe that it is simply a question of £ s. d. At a time when our national pride has received blow after blow, it is an affront to our national dignity that so large a group of our most distinguished young people should be opting out of the society which we have provided for them.
If we are not to tolerate it, what are we to do about it? Here, I would start listing things which I would hope there was general agreement that we should not do. Of course, in pursuit of the excellence which I have described, we must set about creating a higher structure of research institutes of higher educational teaching, both inside and outside the university grants system, which satisfy our own requirements and so provide employment for our graduates.
But let us face the fact that we could not enter into an auction with the United States, even if we tried. It was here that I felt critical of some of the speeches by the Prime Minister when he was in opposition. We cannot enter into such an auction. It is not simply that the United States have a population which is three times ours and, therefore, a national income which is three times ours. On the contrary, they have a national income which is approximately eight times ours. That creates a scale effect, in addition to the effect of degree, which renders it quite impossible to enter into competition with them on our present scientific and economic base. We cannot do it. Because a national income of £243,000 million is more than eight times the equivalent figure which we have, a society which possesses a national income on that scale is able to afford a whole range of facilities which no society of our size is likely to be able to afford, however much it spends upon its scientific education and research.
Secondly, we must not entertain for a moment the idea of restricting the movements of our scientists and technologists, or restricting the movements of those scientists and technologists from undeveloped countries who wish to come here. It would be foolish if we did, because, in one sense, the brain drain is not an evil but a good. If international trade in goods is a desirable objective, so is international trade in talent. It is only the permanent adverse balance in both cases that we need deprecate. Granted that 128 facilities will be available in North America which we cannot match, at any rate, over a great range of years to come, we must encourage our young men and women to take advantage of them, far from restricting them. We hope only that they will come back, that they will stay British, and that they will bring up their children as British citizens.
Thirdly, it would be wrong, would it not, to mutilate or distort our educational system? I have heard it suggested in quite responsible quarters that we should be justified in restricting the amount of physics done in this country because our physicists are so vulnerable to the brain drain. Surely that would be to go about it the wrong way? Let us not forget that when we are talking about high-grade science, we are talking about culture. There is not a curious division between the humaner studies and science. Science is one of the most characteristic features—perhaps the characteristic feature—of our modern civilisation. Research carried on at the top for its own sake is one of the fundamental dynamics which push us forward. It so happens, through no selection of our own, that it is the higher range of physics which attracts the most vigorous and penetrating minds, and if we were to limit our education in this way we should be committing a grievous crime against our society.
Let us look, instead, at the things which we can and ought to do. In the first place, we must broaden our scientific base. This means, in practice, that we must largely Europeanise our scientific base, because in Europe we have a population and a gross international product which can produce a society on the scale and wealth of the United States.
This was the fundamental thinking in the institution of C.E.R.N., the organisation for nuclear research, in E.L.D.O., the launcher development organisation, and E.S.R.O., the space research organisation. We cannot contract out of these advanced industries and these advanced sciences simply because they are expensive. But let us not deceive ourselves. At one time I believed that the creation of these large-scale international centres would save us money. This is not true. They will generate expenditure nationally, and not save us expenditure 129 nationally. The only thing that they will do, which is desirable, is to make available on this side of the Atlantic, in cooperation with European partners, a range of facilities which would not otherwise be available to us.
How are these various concerns getting on? E.L.D.O. was very nearly slaughtered by the Government this summer.
§ Mr. Hogg
I am very happy to hear my remark described as nonsense, but I remember all too well the public announcement in this House. We have heard little of C.E.R.N. I have heard little of the space research organisation. I have heard relatively little of Dragon at Winnfrith Heath. They were all inspired by the same ideology of broadening the scientific base, and I must say to the hon. Gentleman that in some respects the Europeans need encouragement in this because, as a result of the war, we are still greatly ahead of many of our European partners in our advanced scientific thinking. We may be behind the Americans, but we are very largely in advance of many of the Europeans in many of the technologies which I have been describing, and surely we should seek to Europeanise our aerospace technology and projects?
I was glad that the Government failed to slaughter Concord in their early weeks of inexperience. How is this getting on?
§ Mr. Hogg
I hope so. What about the variable geometry aircraft? The Government have dealt such a savage blow at the aerospace industry of this country that they have caused to be sent across the Atlantic now fewer than 1,300 top-level experts as a result of decisions taken in the early weeks of inexperience by the present Home Secretary and the present Prime Minister. What are they doing to repair that, and are they doing enough?
When this has been done, let us not forget that we have to encourage American investment here if we are to broaden our scientific base. It is a good thing, and not a bad thing, when American 130 money is put in here, when American brains are put in here, and when American investment is made in British scientists working here. Obviously one has to watch the policy of American companies, but we do not take their money away by stopping American investment here. We only ensure that it is invested in our rivals instead. We can look after ourselves at least to the extent of seeing that when the installations are here they are properly used, but this will require a good many innate prejudices to be reversed.
Then, what about a counter-recruitment drive? I believe that we have in existence an organisation for the purpose of recapturing talent which has gone across to the United States. This again should be a matter of continuous policy from the last Administration. How is this going on? We would like some information about it.
We cannot avoid backing our advanced industries, our atomic industry, our chemical industry, and our aerospace industry. These are to some extent the pacemakers for the whole of industrial technology in the world. I think that the Government have failed, or did at any rate at first fail, to realise the value and importance of this.
Consider, for instance, the communications satellite. I think that before we are very much older the communications satellite will be the basis both of telephonic and television communication between the continents. My judgment is that no one nation can afford to set up a system on its own. My judgment, for what it is worth, is that even if we could do it the European nations would not be strong enough together.
I believe that the Americans realise that, but if we buy in without having a satellite capability on this side of the Atlantic, we shall buy in at the point at which we shall only be able to construct the reception apparatus ourselves. This is not good enough. Even if it costs money the Government must continue to support an advanced aerospace industry, both in conventional aircraft and in satellite capability.
Our established industries need to he permeated with the spirit of technology. We are apt to think of technology as something which is inserted from outside, 131 perhaps by the Minister, but this is not so. Science in conventional industries is nothing more than systematic thinking applied to systematic measurement and observation. It means laying out a factory on more rational lines. It means the proper selection of material. It means scientific purchasing. It means the redesign of products and processes. It means scientific marketing and other management techniques, not less than the more consciously technological developments in hardware, and it means doing this on the level of every Government Department. As he knows, my fundamental criticism of the set-up which he and his right hen. Friend exemplify is that it diffuses where it ought to concentrate, and concentrates where it ought to diffuse.
Every Ministry ought to be a Ministry of Technology in its own field. However, we have the present set-up and it is no good my flogging a horse which is there and willing. We must get the best we can out of this unequal partnership, even if we have divided science down the chine and separated one part off from industry and another part off from education. We must make the best with what we have, and we must make the best of right hon. Gentlemen opposite. I want to encourage them in well-doing.
I now come to the more general criticism. Have we got our social priorities right? We hear a lot about social justice from hon. Members opposite, but are they so very just? Have they sufficiently valued the talented, the gifted, the able, the enterprising, the skilled, the qualified—and even those who try? There would not be a brain drain if those groups thought that the Government had sufficiently valued them. We are constantly being told that it is the lower-paid worker who must get priority in any form of relaxation of the squeeze, or freeze, or whatever kind of "eeze" we are subjected to. Is that just? Is it to the interest of the lower-paid worker to starve the skilled—as has been happening fairly consistently in wage negotiations since 1945?
I do not want to reopen the vast question of comprehensive education. But there are some points about education which I hope right hon. Gentlemen opposite will not forget. When a child leaves 132 school at the age of 15 he normally goes into a good job nowadays, and earns infinitely more than his predecessors did. He takes out his girl on the back of his motorbike and gives her costume jewellery. He has a remarkably good time, even when he behaves himself.
But what about the boy or girl who stays on at grammar school and is still subject to school discipline at an age when it is particularly irksome, with no wages but with the feeling of being a continued drag on the parents? Such children have a long vista of examinations ahead of them—the differential calculus, A-levels, and often a long period of three years to get their first degree and another four to get their doctorates. They have to reach the age of 27 before they earn a penny of honest money. In the meantime they are paid a pittance of £7 by the right hon. Gentleman.
I am not blaming the right hon. Gentleman; I have had too much of it myself. I know that the right hon. Gentleman must get as many students into the universities as can get education, and that it is better to keep them a little short than it is to deprive anybody of the education he wants. But can we wonder that students feel aggrieved when the most gifted of their generation are the depressed class—the ones who will not get any reward until they are aged 27?
§ Mr. Tam Dalyell (West Lothian)
The right hon. and learned Gentleman has the right to pose the problem—but what is the solution? In his presidential address to the Educational Institute of Scotland the President said that he wanted to impose some kind of tax on teenagers. Is that the sort of thing which the right hon. and learned Gentleman is suggesting?
§ Mr. Hogg
No, it is not. I shall have a word or two to say about our fiscal system in a moment. I am now proposing a revolutionary change in our approach to ability. This country has come to worship mediocrity for its own sake. This country has come to welcome egalitarianism, in the sense of equality of reward instead of equality of opportunity and adequate insurance. We are in danger of adopting the view that there is something undemocratic about brains, and something anti-social about skill, qualifications and achievement. I want 133 hon. Members opposite to pass this message on to their supporters. When the supporters of hon. Members opposite talk about the lowest-paid always needing to get the first increase, and when they open their eyes and say "Tut, tut" and whistle when the top executive gets an income of five figures, I want hon. Members opposite to tell them that skill is a thing that we cannot be without, and that there is no more certain way of keeping wages down than by buying second-rate talent for a third-rate reward.
They can do it if they will only help me in that task. That is part of my answer. We cannot afford an auction with the United States, but in a recent interview with the Daily Mirror, Lord Snow, who had only just left the Government and therefore must still have had a little of the clouds of glory trailing behind him, said:Talent will always go where the money is.Let hon. Members opposite get rid of their economic puritanism and recognise that the skilled man, whether he is a fitter or a top executive, deserves a higher differential than he has been given for about 25 years. Let them get clearly into their heads that the professional, the skilled worker and the top executive in business management will continue to go abroad until they feel themselves properly valued not merely by my party, which has always valued them properly, but by every party.
That brings me to the question of taxation. I shall quote from the Daily Mirror so as to be thoroughly non-controversial. In a well-publicised article, in December of last year, under the headline£71,000 a year to keep one vital man for Britainthere was reference to a more sophisticated and important point than that which I had intended to make to begin with. Two interviews were published. The first was with the head of a chemical engineering firm, who said about the brain drain:The real crux is that direct and indirect taxes on American earnings are far lower than here … I'd take the edge off surtax. It's a killer.The other person interviewed was Professor Wheatcroft, of the London School of Economics—an institution for which 134 hon. Members opposite have an understandable weakness. He said:Most other countries have set their surtax rates at 70 per cent. Ours is 96+ per cent., which is higher than anywhere in the world, except Burma.That is what the Government have achieved. Then they ask why people in those income brackets go abroad.
But the case is a more sophisticated and important one even than that, because what the Daily Mirror was saying in its headline was that an industrial firm that wanted to buy the talent and give an executive a proper take-home wage, comparable to receipts eleswhere, had to pay such a vast sum by way of gross salary before taxation that it was quite unable to afford the cost. In the same article Lord Snow said:It is a serious problem and we have to tackle it on fiscal lines. But tax-free concessions are just not on, not in our climate, anyway.What about changing the climate and not accepting it as a permanent fact of life, as Lord Snow does? If the Government do not change the climate, they may soon reach the point of no return.
The Prime Minister, in opposition, said at Swansea on one occasion—and this is why there is a Motion of censure today—that a Conservative-organised society cannot provide the rewards necessary to our people of talent. He referred to a Conservative-organised society". That is why the skilled people are leaving this paradise of Socialism and going to the United States of America. What they have opted out of is the moronic face of the Labour Party, which has always believe that one could benefit the lowest-paid workers by starving the rich and the skilled. That is why a whole generation of our most gifted children is leaving this country. The truth is the opposite of that proclaimed by the Prime Minister when in opposition. ii is that the people are opting out of democratic Socialism because it is unjust and because they believe that there is no place for them and their children in Britain; and so we are losing them to the United States.
There can be no doubt, despite the promises of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite to the contrary, that under the Labour Party, and for the reasons I have given, the brain drain, which was, in all conscience, serious enough, when 135 it was handled by my right hon. Friends and myself, is in danger of becoming a flood—and hon. Gentlemen opposite know it and know that it will continue to be a flood so long as they harbour their ideals. Every principle for which they have stood has been disproved by experience and, to do them credit, in almost every sphere of policy they have abandoned their policy and their principles. But instead of adopting the only set of principles which will work, they choose to stagger along from one improvisation to the next. They are, therefore, to be condemned, as they have been by those who have left this country for the United States. My advice to these young people is to stay here and fight—fight through the party of which I am proud to be a member.
§ 5.13 p.m.
§ The Minister of Technology (Mr. Anthony Wedgwood Benn)
The whole House enjoys listening to the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). I noted, as his speech went on, my gratitude to him for the spirit in which he moved the Motion and the way in which, as with so many of his speeches, his own rhetoric excited him so much that by the end of it he found himself at a Conservative conference with his traditional bell.
His view of the educational reforms being carried through in this country shows what a total misunderstanding he has of what is happening. He spoke, for example, of comprehensive schools as places which children left at the age of 15, whereas at grammar schools they stayed on for higher education.
§ Mr. Benn
I will give way to the right hon. and learned Gentleman in a moment. To the best of my knowledge, that is what he said, but if I have misrepresented him and he corrects me, I will withdraw my remarks. I understood his criticism of the development of our educational policy to be that the changes which my right hon. Friend is bringing about—changes which will extend opportunity for children for whom it would otherwise be denied—are in some way responsible for the sense of neglect which those of special 136 ability and skill feel today and that is leading them to leave this country.
§ Mr. Hogg
The right hon. Gentleman has completely misunderstood the point I was making. Of course, comprehension has nothing whatever to do with the age at which children leave school. When he reads my remarks in the OFFICIAL REPORT tomorrow he will see that I never committed myself to any such view. I expressly disclaimed any intention of raising that issue in this debate. I was merely saying that the whole structure of education, under whatever Government, is such that the school-leaver gets paid while the young man who stays on, under the discipline of schooling, must go for a longer time without receiving any pay. That is a fact and not an opinion.
§ Mr. Benn
If the right hon. and learned Gentleman was confining his remarks to the point that those who continue their education delay the point at which they are earning, then that is such a non-controversial point that it can be allowed to pass without comment.
Implied in the philosophy of the Conservative Party is the idea that special education ought to be available for those who can afford to pay for it and that other privileges should be accorded to people on the basis of an early decision as to their likely ability. [Interruption.] At any rate, I found that the majority of what the right hon. and learned Gentleman said was spoken in a spirit of moderation, and I shall follow him in that.
This is a very important debate. The rising number of qualified people leaving this country in recent years has caused a lot of public discussion and anxiety. It is a good thing that we should be debating this matter today, at a time when the Jones Working Group is sitting. It is a mistake to think that Parliament cannot be expected to give an opinion when a committee is investigating a matter. The House of Commons is nothing if it cannot contribute to the formation of policy, and I am sure that the Jones Group will welcome this debate.
I hope that, in discussing this matter, we will avoid, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman avoided, some of the more sensational aspects. For example, I hope that nobody is going to suggest that those who leave Britain to work 137 abroad are somethow lost to science altogether. I took part in a television programme the other day. Its title was "Science down the drain"—as if every scientist who left this country not only left the country of his birth but also left the specialisation in which he was skilled. Britain has always sent its people abroad and the City of Bristol, whose representation I am proud to share in this House, financed the "Mayflower", which must have been the first example of the brain drain in history. Our contribution to the world has been the export of people with skills in literature, language and political institutions and, like Alexander Graham Bell, they have made their inventions abroad and we have used and enjoyed them back in this country.
My concern today is not so much with those who positively want to go abroad and work in a particular place and, perhaps, come back later. This is an understandable ambition in a scientific and industrial world that is becoming increasingly international. This sort of thing is inevitable and probably desirable. The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone himself gave encouragement to those who might feel this way.
What concerns me is the man or woman who is so discouraged by his or her experience of Britain or is so pessimistic about its future that he or she leaves because of the feeling that there are no opportunities here. If this debate is to be a useful one, as it can be, we should concentrate on thinking of ways of making this country a place where qualified people can find satisfaction in their work. And I do not mean only British people. If we could get a few Italian designers, German engineers and Russian scientists to work in Britain, I would be indeed satisfied. It is absurd to think, as the Motion encourages us to think, that this is just a question of finding ways of "bringing the boys home"—as if we were engaged in some vast exercise in engineering and scientific demobilisation at the end of a major war.
One of the difficulties about discussing this subject is that the facts and statistics that are necessary are not fully available. I do not criticise the party opposite for the decision it took in the past, but this difficulty continues. There were understandable reasons, but, having discon- 138 tinued the statistics, it is difficult to get accurate figures. We know that from 1958 to 1963, excluding students returning home, 19,000 British and Commonwealth scientists and engineers of graduate level left this country, and during the same period 15,000 came in. We thus lost 4,000 net over six years. About 40 per cent. of those who left went to America or Canada and about 35 per cent. came from there. On balance we lost about 1,900 qualified scientists and engineers to America in six years.
Without in any way minimising the importance of this loss, it must be set against the stock of scientists and engineers in Britain, which is now over 343,000 as compared with only 207,000 ten years ago. The output of qualified scientists and engineers from the universities more than doubled in the same period and is currently running at about 23,000 a year. Although no accurate figures are available, such surveys as have been taken recently suggest that emigration since then has increased and there is little doubt that among those who go are some of our ablest graduates, a disproportionate number being in certain fields.
As for doctors, the House has the facts, as we have. The best estimates available suggest that emigration—and this is not migration, for many of them come back—has averaged between 300 and 350 a year. It could be rather higher at present—perhaps 400. The background here is of about 60,000 civilian doctors at work in Britain and with an annual output of British-based doctors from our medical schools rising to about 2,000 within the next few years the intake of British-based students into our medical schools has already been increased by about 30 per cent. since 1960–61 and last year was 2,363.
The right hon and learned Gentleman made much play of the payment we award to skill and expertise in this country. I am sure that in this connection I shall not need to remind him that the new salary scales for hospital doctors, which will operate from 1st October, include increases ranging from 13 per cent. to 35 per cent. This and the 30 per cent. for general practitioners has been accepted in full, subject only to temporary deferment and phasing. In addition, the new contract for family doctors in the Health 139 Service, which comes into effect in a few weeks' time, will do a great deal to create the conditions favourable to the progressive improvement of general practice. Also for doctors in the hospital service the rebuilding programme includes an expenditure of £1,000 million over the next 10 years, which bears on the facilities which will be available, and within the next four years 80 new or virtually new hospitals as well as more than 100 other major re-development schemes will be started.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine (Tavistock)
Despite all these improvements, which were well known, over the last three years the number of doctors taking examinations to emigrate to America has increased by 226 per cent.
§ Mr. Benn
There are a number of factors to be taken into account. First, not all those who take the examination act upon it. It is only a qualifying examination and those figures take no account of those who return to this country. Also, a substantial number born overseas come to work in this country. The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone paid little tribute to those who come to work here, except that he said that the brain drain had a secondary effect in that it sucked people out and brought them back to Britain.
Having said all that, the problem remains a serious one. In the public discussion of this issue a number of remedies have been proposed and I should like to deal with some of them briefly. First, it would be quite wrong to advocate any sort of restriction upon emigration. It is very natural for people to feel disappointed, and even angry, when a student who has completed his education at a university immediately departs for a well-paid job in America and stays there for the rest of his life. The competition for university places is still so intense and the cost to the taxpayer so great that there is an understandable reaction against those who take all that they can get and then sell their expensive training to the highest bidder without any sense of obligation for those who made it possible for them to acquire that training.
Recently the hon. Member for Woking (Mr. Onslow) tabled a Question to ask me: 140What plans he has to take powers, by legislation or otherwise, to control the emigration of British scientists and technicians.The Question has been withdrawn. I do not know whether the hon. Member himself supported it or simply tabled the Question in order to probe my intentions, but I am sure that the whole House would absolutely reject, as I do, the use of the law as a way of preventing emigration. It would not only be wholly impracticable in enforcement, unjust in application and an unacceptable infringement of personal freedom, but it would destroy British science in the process and stir the desire to escape among those who might never otherwise have thought of leaving.
§ Mr. Cranley Onslow (Woking)
I am delighted to hear that the right hon. Gentleman shares my view. My purpose in tabling the Question was to see what plans he had to deal with the matter. Now he says that he does not contemplate this particular course, we shall look forward with great interest to hearing his plans.
§ Mr. Benn
The hon. Member withdrew the Question before it got an Answer. I have taken the opportunity of giving him the answer now. I am coming to the action we propose in this field.
The second proposal was that on some occasions we should restrict advertising by those firms from America which specialise in recruiting British scientists and engineers from this country. I understand that this has been done abroad. in Germany for example, but I do not think that it would be a sensible course to pursue. International advertising for personnel can hardly be regarded as illegal, and to stop newspaper or periodical advertising would not prevent direct mail advertising or advertising in foreign scientific journals which reach this country and are read by British scientists and engineers.
What is objectionable about this advertising is the fact that it is calculated and intended to spread gloom about the future of this country and its science and technology in order to encourage people working here to leave. This propaganda—there is no other word for it—is often inaccurate and misleading. It is devised to provide an income for those who work in the brain drain business. But it is to 141 be counteracted by argument and fact, not by legislation.
I do not share the view of the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone about American education. What is true about American education is that it is not providing the people whom the Americans want for the purposes they want. American education is very good, but American expenditure on science is such that they are unable from their own educational resources to meet the need which they themselves are stimulating.
I am not sure whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not himself incline in that way a little to the idea that we should spend more on research. Another panacea for the brain drain is the call for higher expenditure on research. "If only Britain spent more on research", we are told, "all scientists and engineers would want to stay here". There is a certain superficial attraction about this argument, but unfortunately it ignores certain relevant facts.
First, expenditure on research in the United Kingdom has more than doubled—from £300 million to £770 million—between 1956 and 1965. But these were also years when the brain drain increased. Secondly, the proportion of the gross national product spent on research and development in Britain is far higher than in any other Western European country and is much nearer the figure for the United States itself. If we take medical research financed by grant in aid, we find it increased from £8.7 million in 1964–65 to £11.8 million in 1966–67 which represents a substantial increase in the amount spent.
§ Mr. Charles Morrison (Devizes)
Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that what he has just said is a refutation of what the Prime Minister said? In a party political broadcast on 11th February 1964 he said:It has been estimated that it costs this country £20.000 to train a Ph.D., and then we lose him and principally the reason is the miserably inadequate provision spent by the Government on research".
§ Mr. Benn
If the hon. Member is able to catch Mr. Speaker's eye, he will be able to develop that point more fully. I am arguing that increased expenditure on research by itself is not a sufficient answer to the problem of the brain drain. 142 There is no necessary correlation between the amount spent on research and development expenditure and the average annual growth of the national income.
If we take the figures for the years 1958–65, we find that the gross national product, or the national income, rose far more rapidly in Germany and France than in America, which was spending nine or ten times as much as those countries were on research and development.
Of our scientists and engineers working we had in 1965 about one-third of our qualified scientists and engineers in research and development. Comparatively, expenditure on higher education in the United Kingdom has also risen sharply from £253 million in 1963–64 to £432 million in 1966–67. As far as we can make out, we also have a surplus in what is called our technological balance of payments. That is to say, we buy less in terms of know-how from abroad than we sell abroad.
Even so, this expenditure on research is no guarantee of industrial success, and it does not necessarily contribute to raising living standards, which are one of the major factors deciding where a scientist or engineer wishes to live. I am sure that what is needed in Britain today, even more than a greater amount of pure research, is the application of research in industry; needed even more than new science-based industry is more rapid use of science in all industries; and needed even more than big new projects is the process of evaluating projects more critically before they are started and concentrating them in such a way as to make them fully effective rather than scattering them about as if we could afford to do everything.
The right hon. Gentleman spoke about the distribution of largesse for the projects that he wanted to see stimulated, without regard to the fact that to pay for them is one of the reasons why the level of taxation has to be as high as it is. The fact is that expenditure on research in Britain is rising, but by itself this is not enough to deal with the problem.
I answer the perfectly proper question of the hon. Member for Woking about what the Government are intending to do about the problem. First, I will deal with the practical matter of the provision of better statistics. Since it was decided 143 to drop the statistical information in 1963 we have been left without adequate knowledge, and the Government have, therefore, decided to set up an inter-departmental committee on migration statistics under the auspices of the General Register Office to examine statistics on migration and to recommend desirable changes. I am sure that it will provide us with important new information on a continuing basis and help as we review the problem in the future.
The second thing is the appointment of the Jones Group under the chairmanship of Dr. F. E. Jones, the managing director of Mullards. With him he has academic and industrial members who are studying the whole problem in depth, including statistics and the economics of migration. The group's first report is due in May. I have no doubt that it will deal with not only the factors which pull from America but also the factors which push from Britain, about which I want to say a word or two in a moment. The Society of British Aerospace Constructors has recently produced some figures on the brain drain and will no doubt be giving evidence to Dr. Jones.
The third thing we are considering is the possibility of a register, on the ground that it would be desirable to look more carefully at the location of British scientists and engineers, particularly those working abroad. Some informal registers exist, and it may well be that there would be some advantage in having a central one. I hope that the Jones Group will be looking at this.
Next, there is the question of recruitment in the United States. The right hon. and learned Gentleman referred to this. I am sure that he is right to do so. In a world where there is an international free market in skill, we have to be more positive in recruiting scientists and technologists and those with management skills from the United States.
Some firms like I.C.I. and Unilever have run recruiting missions for some time in America. The North American Joint Recruiting Mission, under Mr. Hoff, operates on behalf of the Civil Service Commission, the Atomic Energy Authority, and the Central Electricity Generating Board. It may well be that we should be thinking now about a wider 144 mission designed to recruit for industry generally. In such a mission the Government would no doubt play a part. In my view, active recruitment is essential.
In addition, the House will have seen that recently my Department financed a special mission directed at British graduates from American business schools. Mr. Catherwood, the Director-General of the N.E.D.C., who has recently been over there, reported that about 90 per cent. of British students at the American business schools wanted to return to this country.
§ Miss J. M. Quennell (Petersfield)
The right hon. Gentleman refers to the possibility of a register which the Government are considering. What sort of register would it be? Would it be a professional register? Would registration be compulsory? What is the scheme?
§ Mr. Benn
I was referring to the possible advantages that would come through knowing where British scientists and engineers are now actually working. There are some informal registers in existence. The question is whether there would be some advantage in having a more widespread one on a voluntary basis. There is no question of people being compelled to fill in the forms. It is a question of whether we should try to keep an eye on those who have gone abroad and make it easier to encourage some of them to return.
§ Sir George Sinclair (Dorking)
On the question of discussions in the United States with British-based people coming out of the American business schools, the right hon. Gentleman said that he was assured that they wished to come home to Britain. Did they wish to come home to Britain just like that, or did they wish to be assured that they were wanted in Britain? Is not the evidence quite in the contrary direction—that the majority of them stay in America or generally in American-based firms in the United Kingdom?
§ Mr. Benn
That is the nature of the problem. The hon. Gentleman must allow me to make my speech. I am dealing with the problem as it appears to me. I am coming to the question of why people prefer, or so it appears, to work in American rather than British industries.
145 There is a point to which the right hon. and learned Gentleman referred, and that is the desirability of making better use of immigrants. Occasionally one reads of Ph.D.s and graduates from Asian countries employed on relative unskilled work in this country. I sometimes wonder whether industry pays as much regard as it should to the skills available in immigrants.
The central problem is that of strengthening British industry and helping it to make proper use of graduates itself. It is not really the Government who are in the dock alone today. The problem is that British industry is not making as good a use of graduates as it might. The best British firms make good use of graduates, but there is much to be done still before the graduates from British universities find it easy to go into British industry in this country. There is no doubt that a great deal of improvement can be made by industry itself.
Secondly, we want the universities themselves, as far as this is possible, to change their outlook in relation to a career in business. One of the great problems—it stems from the great Imperial period to which the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone referred—is that there are still far too many people in universities who regard industry as of second-rate importance and the professions as being more important. This is astonishing when one considers the high degree of skill required, for example, in engineering, which taxes the intellect quite as much as a barrister's intellect, or that of a professional man, or that of a civil servant, or that of a politician is ever taxed.
One of the things that we have done under Dr. Curran, the Principal of the University of Strathclyde, probably of all the universities in this country the one most closely aligned to industrial things, is to try to examine the relations between my own Department, industry and the universities to see what can be done.
I was very surprised that the right hon. and learned Gentleman said practically nothing about engineers in his speech. He spoke merely of the scientists. He talked about science as part of our culture. It suggested that he thought that the scientist is all right because he is 146 cultured, which is the very prejudice against engineers in industry which lies behind some of the attitudes of the universities towards work in business and industry.
§ Mr. Benn
It may be right to call an engineer a scientist, but I try to use the terms "engineers" and "scientists" in that order because it is the engineer who may have and does have a great contribution to make to industry and who is really creating a new society. I do not think he is in any sense a second-rate scientist and I am sure that the right hon. and learned Gentleman did not mean to refer to him in that way.
But looking further ahead, of course, the answer to these problems cannot be found only in Britain by itself. The problem of the brain drain is a problem which Europe faces, and it has a considerable relationship with the problem of the so-called technological gap which is much discussed in Europe today. When one looks ahead at the development of Europe, particularly in the context of our present discussions about Britain's relationship with Europe, it is important to see in this context of the brain drain what is happening in Europe. It is that the giant American industrial corporations, often stronger in size and research and development expenditure, are attracting people, not only from this country, but from Europe; and if Europe is really going to be the magnet to hold these young people in Europe then it has to provide the industrial strength on a comparable scale.
What are we trying to do? This bears on the Prime Minister's reference to a European technological community, and, indeed, to today's communiqué about continuing contact on technological matters between the Soviet Union and ourselves. What we must try to do is to develop our own resources in Europe to the full. I believe that this will not only be done or even mainly be done by big science projects such as E.L.D.O., Concord, E.S.R.O., or whatever it happens to be, but that it will depend to a decisive 147 degree on the industrial strength which Europe can develop in future.
I now turn, if the House will forgive me for being controversial for a moment, to the Opposition Motion, to which the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone made very little reference, no doubt because it is a very curious Motion. It is cautiously worded and says that the Government… have aggravated the loss to the United Kingdom of qualified and skilled manpower …It could not have been put more strongly than that because the loss has been going on for some time, but the charge of aggravation has to be substantiated.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman, as I expected, made some reference to cancellations of aircraft projects. I have a list of aircraft projects which were cancelled by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite and I shall be glad to read it out if the right hon. and learned Gentleman would like to hear it. These starts of aircraft projects and cancellations have to be looked at very carefully, but it would be wrong to suggest that the effect they have on the scientists and engineers going overseas could be a decisive factor when operational requirements and economic considerations point in the other direction.
In any case, the aircraft industry in itself is in a very much better condition than it was in 1964. Its production in 1966 was £511 million as against £407 million two years earlier, and its exports were nearly double what they were in 1964, all this with a slightly smaller labour force. Looking ahead, the prospects for the industry are not bad at all, and, indeed, in the aero-engine field the new Rolls-Royce/Bristol Siddeley link-up which has now been achieved has made an aero-engine company of world class with enough research and development and production and market prospects to attract any scientist or engineer.
§ Mr. Robert Carr (Mitcham)
It would be interesting to the House if the right hon. Gentleman could tell us and the country which of the projects that the aircraft industry has for export orders were launched by the present Government.
§ Mr. Benn
Since it takes aircraft firms several years to develop projects of this kind it is almost bound to be the case, since the Labour Government have been in power for only two years, two months, that things which happened in 1966 would have been started before 1964. Therefore, I do not think that that intervention proves anything at all. Any suggestion that the aircraft industry has been damaged by the decisions which were taken in 1965 cannot really by itself explain the brain drain. It is not so simply done; and an examination of the future projects on which the industry is working justifies the confidence of those who are in it.
§ Mr. Benn
I answered that one very well—[Laughter.]—yes, I answered the question very well. I answered it by saying that all these decisions about aircraft projects have to take into account the possible consequences on design staff, but that these could not be decisive, because of the operational requirements and economic considerations of the aircraft in question. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman is saying that in order to keep the people who were referred to in that quotation working in the industry we should have to maintain all those projects which were, in some cases, not operationally required, and in other cases were ruled out on the grounds of economics, then he is carrying his own Motion to an absurd extent. As to the figures referred to here, the figures by the S.B.A.C. are before the Jones Group. I am not in a position either to confirm or to deny them at this stage. We are looking into them independently.
What I find a most extraordinary part of the Motion is that which says that the Government should… encourage men and women of ability to remain at home …Remain at home? What an extraordinary outlook this reveals. In the age of aerospace, supersonic airliners, 149 communications satellites, all that the Opposition say is, "Please encourage men and women of ability to remain at home." In fairness to the right hon. and learned Gentleman—
§ Mr. Benn
I cannot give way any more. I have been speaking for some time and I should like to conclude my speech.
If this is its clarion call, in this age of international science, then the party opposite had better think again—though, in fairness to him, I should say that the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone did not speak to the Motion. He spoke much more interestingly, and I wish that he had drafted a Motion which reflected a little bit more of what he was thinking.
If I may summarise the Government's attitude to this question, I would say that it is a problem which ought to concern us and which does concern us; that it cannot be solved in a petty or nationalistic way as the Motion suggests; that it would be quite wrong to impose controls which would restrict the free movement of people; that we need more statistics and that we have begun the process of getting them; that we shall have the Report of the Jones Group on other measures which should be taken, that we intend to pursue them, and that meanwhile we shall pursue a more vigorous policy of recruitment ourselves. Our aim must be to see that this country remains a place where doctors want to work and where scientists and engineers can find satisfaction and scope and opportunity for their work in industry. The university and research stations will need to improve their contacts with industry and the status of engineers must be raised substantially.
But we must also think very much bigger than this, because the scope for technological collaboration with Europe is immense, and I have no doubt that if Europe as a whole could develop its potential to the full then its pull would be at least as strong as the pull from the United States. Does this mean that men and women of ability will be encouraged to stay at home? Not at all. It means that the movement of engineers and scientists from one country to another is 150 likely to grow rather than to diminish and that the areas within which they will move are likely to be wider rather than narrower, and the importance of frontiers in this matter will be less rather than greater, and the benefits which will accrue to this country, if we take positive approach, could be larger rather than smaller.
I ask the House for this reason to reject this narrow and ill-conceived Motion, from which, I think, no good can come.
§ 5.50 p.m.
§ Sir Ian Orr-Ewing (Hendon, North)
We have heard the Minister of Technology in what for him was a rather muted tone, perhaps because he feels some sense of guilt in that after two-and-a-quarter years of Labour Government—a Government said to be poised for instant action, particularly in technology and science—so little has been accomplished. The case which he made was devastatingly weak. I made some notes of the points which he made—statistics on migration; the appointment of Dr. Jones's Committee, which will not report until after the Budget and therefore will be too late for changes to be made in our taxation system; the consideration of a register for the location of scientists at home and abroad; the better use of graduates by industry; and the use of his influence to make the universities cooperate more closely with industry. I thoroughly endorse the last point, but none of those points contains any concrete suggestions.
What do the Government intend to do? Have they no ideas at all? They come forward with unusual methods of taxation, of which S.E T. is the most deplorable, and yet they seem unable to put forward any fiscal policy which might encourage people, with the education which has been given to them this country, to stay "at home". We on these benches are proud of the thought that the great majority should want to stay in Britain—in a Britain in which it is worth while to live and to which it is worth while to contribute.
The manner in which the right hon. Gentleman used the export figures of the aerospace industry was deplorable, for a man who is heading the technology Ministry and therefore should be expected 151 to use figures with a sense of their accuracy. He suggested that it was as a result of the prowess of the Labour Party that exports last year reached an all-time record of £200 million. My right hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham (Mr. R. Carr) asked which projects had resulted from ideas of the Labour Government, and which exports had resulted from Labour Government-supported projects. The Minister was unable to produce one. Of course, as he readily admitted immediately afterwards, every project had been researched, developed and put into production during the 13 years of Conservative rule. This figure of £200 million of exports is one of the most admirable results of those 13 years.
My right hon. and learned Friend made, if I may say so with respect, one of the best speeches that I have ever heard him make in the House. I support my right hon. and learned Friend when he says that high school education in the United States is less than good. "High school education" were the words used. My right hon. and learned Friend has a very keen supporter in Admiral Rickover, who made his name in building a nuclear fleet for the United States Navy of both conventional and Polaris submarines. Admiral Rickover studied the educational systems of the two countries very closely. He published a book on the subject and the came to the conclusion that in the United States they were not streaming their talented children in the way in which we do it in our schools at present. He felt that this was producing a poorer result.
§ Sir Ian Orr-Ewing
I stand by the views of Admiral Rickover. He is a man of aptitude and perspicacity, and he made a valid criticism of education in the United States and praised our educational system in this country.
We are debating a subject which became a very hot political potato during the last five years of the Conservative Government. The Labour Party cashed in to a tremendous extent on that situa- 152 tion. On 25th January, 1964 the Prime Minister made a speech on the subject at Swansea. I well understand that he has to be elsewhere today, but it is a pity that he is not able to attend these debates and that the Leader of the House is not able to attend them, either. On 25th January, 1964, the Prime Minister said,The export of British scientists is one export which will fall sharply under a Labour Government.That is one more forecast to add to all the other forecasts by the Prime Minister which were entirely and absolutely wrong. The statement was made to try to get some votes, and when the votes were in the bag he was no longer interested in the scientists or their welfare.
In February, 1964, we had a debate in the House during which the present Leader of the House said that my right hon. and learned Friend had… demoralised thousands of scientists and technologists …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 24th February, 1964; Vol. 690, c. 54.]This was obviously far from true, and I am sorry that the Leader of the House was not here today to listen to my right hon. and learned Friend. If my right hon. and learned Friend had demoralised them in any way, they have since been much more demoralised as they are leaving in droves. My right hon. and learned Friend, on the other hand, has revitalised them to hope for a future in a technological Britain.
We have been told that the Jones Committee is due to report in May, and already we have begun to see the first of the leaks in the newspapers. In the Sunday Express yesterday it was stated that they had found that of the graduates leaving our universities, 80 per cent. went back to the university, 12 per cent. were a brain drain and only 8 per cent. went into industry. Those are extremely alarming figures which fully justify this debate.
§ Mr. John Pardoe (Cornwall, North)
The hon. Member may not realise that as a result of a telephone call today I was informed by the staff of that Committee that the figures given in the Sunday Express yesterday bear absolutely no relation to the report at all.
§ Sir Ian Orr-Ewing
Every newspaper gets leaks, and the Sunday Express and and the Express generally are extremely 153 accurate in their leaks, particularly about defence. Mr. Chapman Pincher has a fairly renowned reputation in this field, as I know as a Minister in the Defence Department for some seven years.
No one will disagree greatly—I have heard a figure of 70 per cent. mentioned, I think in another place—that large numbers of our graduates go back to the universities. Perhaps at a time when we were expanding our universities as a result of policy decisions taken by the Conservative Government, it was necessary to feed back the graduates and Ph.Ds. into the universities but the time has come when we cannot continue taking the great bulk of them into the universities for research and teaching purposes. We must do everything we can to encourage a close liaison between the universities and industrial life, particularly with the industries around the universities, linked closely to them geographically. We must try to encourage that liaison.
A revealing fact from the House of Lords debate, which the Minister did not mention today, was that for every one of our scientists leaving these shores—probably for the United States—two engineers are leaving. I agree that this is the most alarming aspect of the brain drain. We are not short of research scientists. In some ways we are almost over-provided with them. But we are desperately short of people who can turn that research into applied science and then into products which we can sell in the markets of the world. The drain of engineers is very serious.
Why do they go? I will not dwell on these points at great length, but I want to mention seven reasons which have been given: status; opportunity; frustration here; the lower salaries here; the higher taxation here; the inability to build their capital here or to make any worthwhile savings; and a feeling that this country has not a great technical future and that the United States has a great zest for innovation and a great zest in its general outlook and therefore will make better use of their services.
May I deal with those points? It is only too true, even today, that for some reason, in society generally and in industry, the engineer does not have the 154 status to which he is entitled. We pay engineers too lowly. In my opinion far too few are put on subsidiary boards, where they could learn management and broaden their knowledge of industry in general, or on the boards of companies generally. In Switzerland, West Germany and the United States, on almost every public company one finds a generous representation of scientific and engineering talent. Of too few companies in this country is this true.
The next reason given was lack of opportunity. Promotion even today in industry is too much dependent on seniority. The most thrustful, ambitious scientists and engineers are probably giving of their best in their late twenties and up to their late thirties. Too seldom is a scientist in this country given an opportunity in that age range.
The third reason given was frustration—and that does not mean only just frustration job-wise; it means frustration in one's life. This is what the Motion means by talking of encouraging them to stay at home. Home does not mean just a job but a home for their families, life for their children and opportunities for education and all the aspects of a full and rounded life.
Salaries in British industry are too low and, if the scarcity increases as demands on British industry increase, I hope that salaries will be raised.
The next factor, higher taxation, is very important. In the United Kingdom if a scientist or engineer in a senior position was earning £4,000 a year, he would be allowed to keep £3,000 if he had two children. If the same person were working in the United States, his salary would, in real terms, be 50 per cent. higher—the equivalent of £6,000 a year—and he would be allowed to keep £5,000. These figures are in real terms. It is not surprising that present taxation discourages people from staying here.
The same is true at the top level. It is significant that, in the United Kingdom, up to 96¼ per cent. is taken in taxation when the salary reaches £18,900 a year. That may seem a princely salary to many hon. Members, but in the world markets senior executives in great industrial or engineering companies would be likely to receive that sort of figure. To take away 96¼ per cent. is a strong discouragement.
155 The figures of maximum taxation in any other country are markedly lower, and most of these countries are our competitors. In Canada, never more than 80 per cent. is taken in tax and not until the salary reaches £134,000 a year. In the U.S.A., the maximum is 70 per cent., when the salary reaches £72,600 a year. In West Germany, it is 57 per cent., reached at just over £20,000 a year, and, in Sweden, 70 per cent., at £12,000 a year.
During two election campaigns, Sweden was thrust down our throats in almost every party political broadcast. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will take a leaf out of Sweden's book and reintroduce some incentive for higher executives.
I turn now to capital building. With these taxation rates, how can any ambitious man, who has probably not inherited any wealth, make and keep any capital for the betterment of his family, his widow and his children? Until recently it was possible to practise what is widely practised in the United States and other industrial nations—giving stock options to senior and even junior executives so that, as their country's prosperity increased as a result of their efforts, they could make some capital profits. This has since been ruled out by legislation by the Chancellor.
Lord Kilmuir, whose recent death was so sad—we remember his contributions to this place—urged in the other place that some revision should be made—there will be an opportunity in the Budget in two months—to reintroduce some element to allow capital profits by executives and scientists.
As to the future, I agree that we do not want to run down this country. We have tremendous technical ability, but it is not helped when projects are cancelled. This Government have failed to appreciate that many scientists and engineers do not want to work in a vacuum. They want to work and see the product—whether a component or a finished product—developed and put into production and finally sold.
I thought that it was typical that, in their early weeks in office, right hon. Gentlemen should say in the document "The Economic Situation. A Statement by Her Majesty's Government" on 26th October: 156The Government will carry out a strict review of all Government expenditure. Their object will be to relieve the strain on the balance of payments and release resources for more productive purposes by cutting out expenditure on items of low economic priority, such as "prestige projects". The Government have already communicated to the French Government their wish to re-examine urgently the Concord project.This is typical. We must have some prestige projects. Thank goodness the previous Conservative Government had tied up the contract on this operation so tightly that the Government could not cancel it. It is now, by all accounts, one of the most promising projects. This is the kind of prestige project which will keep our scientists working fruitfully.
One poor result of the pay and incomes freeze has been the accelleration of the brain drain. We supported the freeze as a holding operation while the Government thought out the next phase. Lamentably, they do not appear to have done this or to have discussed with the trade unions how to alter our industrial negotiating machinery.
It now appears that we are in danger of suffering a sort of industrial "arthritis", because those scientists and engineers who were being paid some modest sum on 20th July have to remain at that level. Are we to assume that the differential between the low-paid workers and the scientists was dead right on that date and will never be renegotiated? Every announcement says that the rates of lower paid workers are going up, and then the differential will be further narrowed, but the scientists are suffering from the present freeze and there will be another period of restraint after that. This is bound to accelerate the brain drain into a brain flood.
If the right hon. Gentleman believes that there is some future for technology and science in this country, I hope that the present Ministers, who will be there for two or three years but not longer, will provide the best possible outlook for our scientists and technologists and will persuade the Government that they cannot go on for ever freezing their pay, or they will go on leaving us.
What can be done? First, I hope that we can persuade our universities, dons, professors and those holding chairs that there is no future unless much of 157 their talent is fed into industry and industry is allowed to pay Britain's way. In our universities, I still feel that too many are living in an ivory tower. This is not so in our newer universities but it is true of some of the traditional ones. They sit quietly discussing abstruse problems—no doubt important ones—in senior common rooms, but the vital problem is whether they are producing the scientists, technologists, and engineers and feeding them into industry to enable it to pay for our expensive educational processes.
Second, I wonder whether our university staffs, particularly in science and engineering, are doing all they can to work part time in industry. In many of our universities, apart from other functions, term time is 24 weeks in every 52.—[An HON. MEMBER: "Thirty."] Anyhow, at Oxford and Cambridge there are three eight-week terms, which is 24 weeks. Whether it is 24 or 30, that still leaves a great slice of the year for production or consultancy work in industry.
Here I wonder whether perhaps we should do what I mentioned earlier as taking place in competitor countries—encourage, perhaps with some tax relief, our professors and other university staff to help in industry outside the normal term's work. I am sure that they have a lot to contribute and the flow could be two-way. Industry could show the type of people and education needed. But this is not happening.
Lastly, people have said that university staff leave because they cannot get either the money or the equipment to allow them to carry on with their researches. This may be true of certain research work, but I wonder whether, again, we should not look to the United States and see what it done there. To a tremendous extent in the United States, industry is encouraged to sponsor and donate to universities. I asked a taxation expert this morning about the situation here and I have not been able to check the figures in the Library, but I understand that industry here gets no tax relief for contributions to universities unless on a 7-year covenant. Surely the Government could give some relief in order to encourage industry to help the universities and perhaps, as a quid pro quo, the professors concerned and their staff could do some work in industry. This would be 158 positive help to both industry and the universities.
What about private donations? There are still people who have made quite a lot of money since the war. One sees reports of generous gifts to various charitable institutions. Why not the same to universities? In the United States Income Tax relief is given for such donations. if we really believe in this, why do we not give more encouragement to private persons to give of their wealth to our universities?
This is not a subject which can be pushed off, as the Minister tried to push it off. It is getting more and more urgent every day as more and more people—the talented and thrustful people—leave our shores. I ask him to storm into the Chancellor of the Exchequer's room tomorrow, slap today's HANSARD on his desk, and point out that, in two months' time, he will be introducing his Budget and that he should look at the incidence of taxation. If taxation could be revised, incentives redistributed and the sort of motives which we suggest put into being, we could give more encouragement so that many of our best people would stay here and work in this country, which would be to the betterment of themselves, of the country and of all the others who live in it.
§ 6.12 p.m.
§ Dr. Shirley Summerskill (Halifax)
The hon. Member for Hendon, North (Sir Ian Orr-Ewing) did not mention doctors and there has been too little reference to the "doctor drain". I propose to deal with doctors entirely, for I feel that they deserve a separate place in the debate. Perhaps more publicity has been given to the doctor drain than to that of the scientists, because every member of the public feels a personal connection with his doctor and, whereas he may not know an engineer or a space scientist, he knows his own general practitioner well. He feels that if his doctor is to leave the country, then he will be affected personally.
It is essential that we get this subject into perspective, because it has been grossly dramatised and exaggerated by the Press and is now being exploited by the Opposition for political purposes. There is not a drain of doctors from the country—that is too drastic a description. 159 I prefer to call it an ooze. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology gave some figures which put this into perspective. The average net loss of doctors by emigration is 300 to 350 a year. But this is out of a total of 60,000 in the whole of Britain, and that latter figure is rarely mentioned. The emphasis is given to the 300 to 350.
I welcome my right hon. Friend's announcement about the collection of statistics, because this is vitally important if we are to get the matter into proper perspective. I hope that he will obtain in future figures of the number of doctors who come into the country every year from abroad to run our hospitals. Let us hear more about them and less about the 300 to 350 who are going out. We do not really know the figures in a vitally important debate like this.
§ Mr. Heseltine
It is worth pointing out that the 300 to 350 is the last estimate that has been made and that it is a net estimate. In other words, it represents 25 per cent. of the new doctors coming on to the British market every year. Thus, 25 per cent. of them are emigrating. That is not an ooze but a national tragedy.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I shall deal with the significance of the figures as I go on. We cannot estimate the seriousness of the loss unless we know the numbers that are coming in. Up to 1962, it was known that, whereas 400 a year emigrated, 600 to 700 immigrants were coming in to run our hospitals. Over 50 per cent. of the junior staff in our hospitals come from abroad. We know that if all the overseas doctors were to return home tonight our National Health Service would collapse.
In Halifax, the majority of the doctors resident there are from overseas. Very largely, Indians and Pakistanis are running our hospitals in this country. When I worked as a resident 60 per cent. of the doctors in the hospital were Australians. Who is to say that these doctors are not as good as or are better than our own? Let us for a change read some headlines about doctors arriving here to take up jobs and fewer about those who leave.
Another figure I hope the Government will discover is how many of the doctors going abroad return to this country. This 160 is obviously a difficult figure to discover, but it is vitally important. Recently we read in the headlines how Dr. O'Kelly, Chairman of the Junior Hospital Doctor's Association, is going to America. We were told that he was to get a salary there four times what he was getting here. But in much smaller print it said that he intended to return to Britain—obviously a better doctor. In even smaller print it was said that he intended to do cancer research, and so he will bring back the expertise and experience he gains. But all that was in small print in the Press reports.
I do not believe that doctors are leaving purely for money. Most realise that there are more important things to a doctor than the glamour of American dollars. I would like the Government to find out in more detail why the doctors are going. It is obvious that they are attracted by career prospects, by opportunities for research in the specialty in which they may be interested, and that there may not be a comparable job here at the time they want it.
There is very often extra responsibility in many American hospitals, where a registrar may do a job in five different specialties in rotation—surgery, medicine, obstetrics, gynaecology and so on—instead of concentrating on one. Of course, for the potential G.P., there are very often preferable conditions of work overseas. But I do not believe, as the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) claims, that the reason doctors leave is that they are running away from a Labour Government or a collapsing Health Service. This sort of thing is inaccurate and unfounded and does no credit to the Opposition or to the Health Service which they purport to support.
It would also be interesting if the Government could find out to which countries these 350 to 400 doctors are going each year, how many are going to the under-developed countries, how many are going to Canada and Australia, and how many are going to America. Let us not assume that there is a mass exodus to America in order to get some dollars. This is all highly relevant to the debate. Unless we have detailed statistics from the Government about the so-called brain drain of doctors, it is impossible to discuss this subject rationally and unemotionally and to put it in its proper perspective.
161 I am glad that my right hon. Friend has realised that these statistics are vitally important. As I see it, the real problem to be tackled is not the loss of 350 doctors overseas each year. The real problem which we are facing is a chronic shortage of doctors in Britain. Ideally, a National Health Service of which we can be proud should be able to afford to export a sample of its talent for the benefit of others, and it should be able to do this without collapsing overnight. Once this National Health Service was the envy of the world. We should be proud that our doctors are still in demand by other countries. It will be a sad day for Britain when we have to discourage them from going overseas. I would strongly oppose any regulation compelling them to practise in this country.
One of the most dangerous of all tyrannies is to prevent a person from leaving a country to work and live abroad. In this respect, the Government are not being entirely consistent, and perhaps at the end of the debate some light can be cast on this matter. I regret that the Minister of Health is not here, but, nevertheless, I will mention him in this context, because he has publicly condemned doctors for wanting to work in America. But, at the same time, we have in the British Medical Journal Government advertisements rightly enticing our doctors to go and work in countries like Uganda, Malawi, Fiji and Kenya, where they are desperately needed. Do the Government want to keep our doctors here or not? Will they say to them, "You can go to Malawi but you cannot go to New York"?
Doctors should be allowed to go where they like and to wherever they see prospects available for them. Meanwhile the Government are quite prepared to allow our hospitals to be run by doctors from overseas countries who can ill-afford to let one doctor go, let alone 300 to 350, and they are content to see our hospitals staffed by doctors from under-developed countries. So I would like clarification of the Government's view on whether, like the Opposition, they want to keep our men and women at home, as the Opposition say in their Motion, or whether they are content to see our doctors go where they want to, or whether they have specific places where they will encourage our doctors to go and other 162 places where they must not go. I support complete freedom in this respect.
What would be the Government's attitude if Britain entered the Common Market? How would it prevent our doctors from working and living in European countries? The Government must prepare themselves for the fact that after 1st January, 1968, the barriers for doctors among the six European countries will be down, and there will be free exchange of doctors between them. I hope that soon our doctors will be among those in Europe.
We cannot stop British doctors going abroad. For hundreds of years, from the time of the first medical missionaries, they have gone abroad, and I hope they always will. The world's greatest medical men, from Hippocrates to Schweitzer, have travelled the world, and seclusion and isolation are the worst possible fates for a doctor. Unlike the scientist, who is often a pawn in the cold war, the doctor is not political or even economically valuable.
It is impossible to estimate the benefit to the individual doctor of a period of work abroad. It is impossible to estimate the benefit there would be to Britain if he returned here. There is no visible end product and its value is indefinable. The fact remains that these doctors are gaining experience if they go abroad, or they are giving the less privileged developing countries the benefit of their knowledge. How can we object to either of these? I deplore the wording of the Opposition's Motion that we should encourage these people to stay at home.
Do we know which doctors are emigrating? This is something else which I should like the Government to find out. Contrary to what has been said by various speakers, I do not agree that it is always the most able people who choose to emigrate. This applies not only to doctors but to skilled and unskilled people. One cannot say that because they are leaving they are able and because they stay they are not. The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone said that our most distinguished people were leaving, that our most gifted children were leaving. But is this so? Has anyone really analysed what doctors are leaving? Is this not a sad reflection on the majority of doctors who do not want to go abroad, who are 163 perfectly happy, contented and satisfied to work in Britain under a National Health Service?
§ Mr. Hogg
The hon. Lady has misconstrued what I said. What I meant was that Ph.Ds and doctors are all among our distinguished children, and it is precisely these groups who have the highest numbers of emigrants. I was not seeking to differentiate between various doctors, between those who go and those who stay, as one being more distinguished than the other. It is the doctors and Ph.Ds who by definition are our most distinguished children.
§ Dr. Summerskill
I cannot agree that a doctor or Ph.D. is more distinguished than a skilled mechanic or machine tool operator, or anybody who does his job well, but that is getting on to another subject. The fact is that the people who are staying at home are getting no publicity, and this sort of insinuation that the skilled are leaving and the unskilled are staying behind, that the talented and the able are leaving and the rest are left, is not doing any good to the National Health Service or to the medical profession.
I notice that the Opposition, probably deliberately, have not said a great deal about the doctor shortage, because they would find it embarrassing if they did. Have they forgotten the Willink Committee set up in 1955 by the Conservative Government for the very purpose of estimating the number of medical practitioners that would be needed in the future and therefore the number of medical students to be trained? The conclusions of this Committee, and its unequivocal recommendation—which, I am sure, the Opposition have not forgotten—to reduce the student intake by 10 per cent., was so completely wrong and inaccurate that we have been suffering from this mistake ever since. Little account was taken of many important factors—of the way in which the scope of medical care was being extended by the dramatic development of new surgical techniques, of the new diagnostic methods and new drugs. The Committee was completely wrong in forecasting the population increase expected by 1971 and the possible increase in demand for medical care which will carry on as long as the nation's prosperity increases. Much 164 too late in the day, at the end of 1961, the Conservative Government reversed he Willink Committee's recommendation, and the rate of intake of medical students was restored. Throughout all these years the National Health Service had been inadequately financed by Conservative Governments when it was under the control of a series of Conservative Ministers of Health.
During this time, dissatisfaction among doctors about conditions of work and rates of pay was gradually developing and growing. This is not something which has just happened in the last few years under a Labour Government. It grew under the Conservatives and it came to a head when the Labour Party came to power, and it ill becomes the Opposition to lay the blame for the present doctor shortage on the Government. The memory of right hon. Gentlemen opposite is very short.
In conclusion, I offer a solution to the problem. The emphasis of the debate where it has concerned doctors has been in the wrong place. Instead of deploring the loss of 350 doctors a year, we should be putting our own Health Service in order. The solution to the doctor shortage is not hastily to pull back the 350 who are leaving. It is far more complex than that. If a bucket is leaking and one cannot mend the hole, the answer is to turn the tap on more fully.
We must increase the output of the medical schools and the number of medical schools must also be increased. I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science is listening very carefully. The Government are to set up a new school in Nottingham, no doubt with a great flourish of trumpets, but I urge them not then to sit back and rest on their laurels, because we need at least five or six new medical schools to stop this crisis. One would be totally inadequate and anyone who knows about the education of medical students and this crisis would tell the Minister that one would be totally inadequate. Such a school takes at least three years to design and build and for the staff to be appointed and for students to start coming out.
I would like these new medical schools to be particularly in the industrial north 165 of England where doctors are urgently needed, preferably with one near Halifax which I know to be a town which is extremely under-doctored and which cannot even get a general practitioner to apply for a job there which is advertised in the British Medical Journal. We want new medical schools in each of our new universities. I would like every boy or girl who wants to become a doctor to be given the opportunity to do so, provided that he has the qualifications. There is no lack of recruits wanting to become doctors. What ever the crisis may be, plenty of young people are queueing up to become doctors.
For years, particularly under the Conservative Government, medical students were regarded as an élite, a rather privileged community. Often they were just men from public schools. Things have now changed and the whole spectrum among medical students has altered and it is realised that they are not an elite but a necessity. Perhaps it is the brain drain among doctors, or the doctor ooze, which has made people realise that we have to have them. In 1958, there were only 7 per cent. more medical students than there were in 1939, but between 1961 and 1965 there were 21 per cent. more. In the next few years we need an even greater increase than that 21 per cent.
Better use must be made of those who qualify. As my right hon. Friend pointed out, during the last two years and two months the Government have done a great deal to improve the status and conditions of work of doctors. They have done more than the Opposition ever managed to do under the numerous Conservative Ministers of Health. I hope that this process will be continued in the coming years. Women doctors must not be allowed to be wasted. They must be given part-time jobs so that their talents are not allowed to go idle. This is the way to solve the doctor shortage, not to tear our hair out because 350 a year are going abroad. We hear that research facilities are being increased, but career prospects must also be improved.
All over the world the richer nations are taking doctors from the poorer. America takes them from Europe and we take them from India and Pakistan. Countries like that have one doctor for every 150,000 inhabitants whereas in 166 Britain we have one doctor for every 2,000 or 3,000 inhabitants. The only solution to this problem is to raise the world standard of living and prosperity so that salaries and conditions of work everywhere become comparable. Only when that situation exists will there be no such thing as an under-doctored area. There will be a free exchange of doctors all over the world and the phrase "brain drain" will have no meaning.
§ Mr. Speaker
I remind the House that this is a shortened debate. If hon. Members whom I call will speak reasonably briefly, I can get more in.
§ 6.36 p.m.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine (Tavistock)
Some of us were slightly surprised to hear the Minister of Technology and the hon. Lady the Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) asking us to raise our sights and broaden our objectives to allow the skilled and technically qualified people of this country to seek opportunities overseas. We remember the election broadcast shortly before this Government were elected which culminated in the words of the Prime Minister himself:Britain has got the brains. It is the job of the Government to see that we keep them here by making better use of them".Perhaps I would not now take the Prime Minister's words as seriously as I would then and perhaps the nation has learned that what the Prime Minister said in 1964 is not the same as the Government's policy today. We shall be forgiven if we take those words seriously in reminding the party opposite that it was elected to try to keep these people here. This was the "white hot revolution" about which we heard so much in 1964 and so little in 1966 and 1967.
It has already been well-established that in this country we have the problem of brain drain and I do not seek to describe it or analyse its magnitude. The problem exists. Every one of us is concerned with how we can play our part in making this country more attractive so that people stay here and make their careers here.
I may be in the position of having the most up-to-date information about the sort of changes of atmosphere and attitudes taking place among our young people, because I am the chairman of a 167 company which receives about 300 applications a week from technically and professionally qualified people looking for jobs. One of the questions which we always ask these people is whether they would be prepared to work abroad. I took the trouble to find out what proportion were saying "Yes" to that question and to compare it with the number of a year ago. It may interest the House to know that in the quarter January to March, 1966, 37 per cent. of these people, who basically represent the field from which the brain drain is drawn said that they would be prepared to work abroad. I have just checked the figures of those who applied to us in December, January and the first week of this February and the figure equivalent to that 37 per cent. is now 46 per cent.
I will break down that figure into its two components, on the one hand those who are basically engineers and scientists and on the other those who are arts graduates. Of those who are engineers and scientists 46 per cent. are now prepared to work abroad, whereas 47.5 per cent. of the arts graduates are prepared to work abroad. I am quite ready to believe that this statistical fluctuation is not of great significance. What is of significance is this change among technically professionally qualified people compared with the number of a year ago, showing that nearly 10 per cent. more of our young people are prepared to emigrate if the opportunity arises.
§ Mr. Frank Hooley (Sheffield, Heeley)
Did the hon. Gentleman ask whether they were prepared to work abroad permanently, or just work abroad?
§ Mr. Heseltine
This is a very good question. I was about to come on to it. There are all sorts of questions that could be asked but it is not part of our concern to ask whether it is a permanent job a person is seeking. It is simply a general question: "Are you prepared to go abroad?" The general atmosphere which I am indicating is such that a considerable proportion are prepared to say: "Yes, I will go abroad." Perhaps they will go to an English company overseas, maybe to the Commonwealth, or the under-developed areas, but assuming that the proportions stand as they do elsewhere, the highest proportion of 168 these people will go to the United States of America.
What I want to ask the Minister who is to reply to the debate is why was the Jones Group not asked to consider the position of arts graduates? I quite understand the need for the Jones Group to consider the position of engineers and scientists. We also need this information about the group of our university graduates from which will come managers, salesmen, marketing and advertising men. One cannot, if one is talking about the future developments, divide the two. Both have a vital part to play and it would be wrong to become mesmerised with one part of the brain drain, and not, at the same time, try to find out what may be happening to people who have less precise skills but nevertheless skills of inestimable value.
The one point that I wish to leave in hon. Members' minds is that over the course of the last 12 months there has been a significant increase in the number of people prepared, for one reason or another, to leave this country to seek their livelihood elsewhere. Ever since the words "purposive redeployment" first crossed the Prime Minister's lips I have always been concerned with the possibility that the moment one began redeployment on any scale a fair proportion of the people redeployed would redeploy themselves overseas.
I want to deal with three areas in which I believe positive steps could be taken in order to improve our ability to train and keep people in this country. I appreciate that I can only touch upon three fairly specific cases, and that there are a large number of other cases of equal value which hon. Members will raise. First of all, I shall deal with careers advice available to people coming from our schools and universities. It is very important that we should consider facilities available for finding people the right jobs, because the more trouble that we take in finding people the right jobs, the better the chance of keeping them in that job, and therefore in this country.
Secondly, I want to say something about a proposal for a quite new approach to post-graduate research in our universities. Thirdly, and this may be 169 more controversial, I want to say something about the attitude of this Government towards the creation of an entrepreneurial society, without which, in the last resort, one would never keep a fair proportion of one's most talented people.
To anybody at school, careers advice is basically carried out by a teacher allocated to the job. He is not specialised in that job, and it is not in any way his specific and only function. He is merely told to assume responsibilities for giving career advice. He has very few facilities; he has probably a filing cabinet in which there is a lot of out-of-date information. He is not fed with general information from any source of which I am aware, and he regards the job, as he must do, as very much a second-class occupation.
This is coupled with the Youth Employment Service operating throughout the country. Anyone who has been to see youth employment officers will be aware that many of them are the most dedicated men, but they operate from dingy offices, often in the back streets. Anyone walking through their doors and thinking, "This is where the man who is to advise me on my career works", must receive a psychological shock. He will be tempted to feel that if that is where he can get the best available careers advice, he ought to say to himself, "Perhaps I could do better by asking by father".
To summarise, it is my view that we are trying to get careers advice on the cheap. I ask the Government whether they will consider the establishment of an inquiry? It will not be very expensive or take very long but I believe it would be scathing in its condemnation of the way that we are trying to carry out this job. While this sounds as if it is only one specific example, what I am talking about is the most important decision of investment that this country makes—where we invest our most valuable raw material, our skills and talents. It is a vital part of our investment programme.
A fair number of people in our society move on to the university. There was an investigation carried out by the Heyworth Committee some years ago into the conditions prevailing in University Appointments Boards. Many of the boards are absolutely first-class, and people will single out the Oxford University Appointments Board. Its service is extremely 170 good. The point made by the Heyworth Committee is that there is no central form of information which would keep all the boards up to the same standard, and the same level of information. With someone such as the gentleman in charge of the Oxford Board who has thought about this and created something efficient through his own ability, one gets the best there and others like him, but this does not apply everywhere, and the result is that one gets a very wide difference in the standards between the best and the worst. Here again we are entrusting the guidance of many of our young people to inefficient methods. This is a very unwise thing. Are the Government prepared to take steps to look into this?
I want to say a word about postgraduate research. Many points have been made about the atmosphere in our universities and the relationship between the academic and the industrial world. There is an apartness, a feeling of distinction between the academic and intellectual world on the one hand and the industrial world on the other. Regrettably, this undoubtedly exists. There is also our inability, as a nation, to apply the results of pure research going on in many of our universities. There is an ignorance, almost a hostility, in many forms of industry to the places of research, and an insularity on the part of some industrialists which is all too apparent and much to be regretted.
There is a lack of knowledge on the part of technologists as to the openings in industry which they might pursue. There is no way in which they can be sure that they have found the best openings. We are aware of a lack of money for research and equipment. There is a feeling that universities are unaware of commercial considerations. Finally, there is the point about bad pay in British industry, and its unattractiveness com- pared with American industry.
University post-graduate research must be the single most vital area from which recruits most prized in industrial development are to come. I want to propose that the Government set up a university industrial liaison office in each university. The purpose of the office, which would employ an officer or officers, depending upon the size and the number of the research departments within the university, would be to bring together the 171 industrial concerns operating within the sphere of research of the particular faculties.
The officer would try to persuade industry to commission specific research projects from that particular research department, and in this way he would try to persuade individual companies to make solid cash benefits available to the research department. This would not only help to carry out the particular project of research, but would augment the pay of people concerned, and make available larger sums of money for new equipment and facilities. He would go out into industry with the intention of selling to industry items of research and the benefits of research carried out by that research department. This would produce further revenue.
He would have a knowledge of where the brightest people in any field of research in industry were, and he would see it as his job to try to persuade those companies employing these people to let them come for a sabbatical year to the research department, in order to carry out general or specific research. He might try to second people from the research departments into the best companies, so that they could find out what was going on. He would have an intimate knowledge of the progress being made in industry, so that he would be able to advice key research people when they finished their research period, as to where they would be most likely to find openings in industry for their talent and experience. I appreciate that this is a general idea. It would be wrong to try to itemise it in the greatest detail on the Floor of the House. But it provides, I suggest, a proposal that might begin to break down in university circles the feeling that, on the one hand, a person is an intellectual working in an academic environment or, on the other hand, an industrialist who never needs to go near the university research departments. This will be bound to be met by a certain amount of hostility from those who want to keep the situation as it is.
The pattern for what I am saying exists very much in America. Around Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there exists a strip of small companies set up by the large American 172 giants to conduct research experiments and use the nearby talent from the M.I.T. By using these small pioneering units the industrial concerns draw the cream of M.I.T. talent close to them. There is much greater awareness of the ability of and need for people to move from one place to another and of the benefits to be derived in this way. It is not enough for the Government to say that they welcome in principle close liaison between the two worlds. It is imperative for something to be done. It would be quite possible to encourage a scheme of this sort in one university and try it out. What must not be done is simply to pat everyone on the back and to say how good we have been to discuss the matter at all. Something must be done to break down the distinction between the two forms of society of which we have been speaking.
Anyone who has read the excellent debate on the subject in the House of Lords will have been particularly impressed by the speech of Lord Snow, in which he referred to the centres of—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. If the noble Lord was not a Minister speaking on behalf of the Government, he cannot be quoted or referred to.
§ Mr. Heseltine
I beg pardon, Mr. Speaker; he was not a Minister. Anyone who has read the speech to which I have referred will have been aware of the suggestion that there should be centres of excellence in this country.
We cannot—I disagree with the hon. Lady the Member for Halifax—expect to spread the jam very thick in a nation of this sort. The essential aim should be to try to set up specialised organisations or centres for post-graduate research in specific disciplines which are known to be of a standard and to command resources far in excess of anything which could be achieved by research departments if they were spread throughout the length of and breadth of our 44 universities. We simply cannot achieve the standards which are necessary in international competition by trying to do it on this basis.
My final point, which might be more controversial, concerns the atmosphere which the Government are building up in the economy as it affects the sort of 173 people who are likely to leave this country. Over the last two years, the Government have done a great number of things which, to a Labour Government backed by Socialist principles, must be perfectly justifiable. If, however, the Government do those things, it is very difficult for them not then to expect a fair number of people simply to shrug their shoulders and say, "That is not the sort of society within which I can operate." Entrepreneurial activity is a very personalised matter.
The Government must understand where decisions about emigration are made. They are made not in public meetings or on the Floor of the House of Commons, but in discussions between father and son, between teacher and student. The question, "How many units of national interest can I earn in any one year?", is not asked. In the last resort, the question that is asked is, "What can I expect to gain from working in this environment and to what career and rewards can I look forward?"
Hon. Members opposite must realise that every time they introduce into this House legislation that deals with the kind of excesses that they regard as shameful in an entrepreneurial society, it must lead to a certain proportion of people who like that sort of society opting for the transatlantic passage.
I ask hon. Members opposite, for example, whether they are surprised that people who may have technical and scientific backgrounds should want to build up small organisations and industrial concerns. Are they surprised that that sort of person opts for the United States of America. where capital gains are an accepted form of existence, not completely tax-free, but taxed at a much lower rate than in this country? Would they expect somebody faced with that choice to stay in this country?
If hon. Members opposite had sons who said, "Where can I expect to accumulate a larger amount of industrial equity for myself", would they advise them to stay here or to go overseas? Or if their son was not an entrepreneur but simply a highly talented and determined young man who wanted to play a part in a large and growing industrial concern, would they advise him to stay here if he were to ask them about stock options? That is the question which hon. Members 174 opposite must ask themselves. That is the sort of situation which occurs in family drawing rooms and in the senior common rooms of universities, where career decisions are taken.
Hon. Members opposite have to ask themselves what they would say to a son who said, "How can I accumulate the sort of capital which I want to do, of which I am capable, if I stay in this country?" If they cannot answer that question, they might as well be honest with the House and tell us that they are prepared to discard people of this sort in our community and see them go, because go they will unless that sort of atmosphere is changed.
If a specialist salesman working in the sort of way in which technically-qualified salesmen have to work, trying to sell British goods to foreigners in this country, sees the Government, prone to highly oratorical and emotional utterances, doing away with the ability to charge entertainment allowances against tax, he is likely to find his personal interest in his job that much diminished. There are large number of hon. Members opposite who regard that as splendid. They do not approve of expense account living. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]
I know the views of hon. Members opposite. I am not criticising the principles on which they operate. I merely say that, if they have those attitudes to life, they must expect a fair number of people who fundamentally disagree with their views, and who know that simply by going across the Atlantic they can find a society more in keeping with their own attitudes, to get up and go.
§ Mr. Heseltine
I am talking about the sort of society which I would describe in the phrase "an entrepreneurial society". The reason why people like myself would stay in the country and try to bring back the sort of entrepreneurial society which is being destroyed by hon. Members opposite is that we believe that it is better to say here and fight it out than to opt to go to America and give in.
To attract the best ability in industrial terms we are not talking about the most moral people, or those obsessed with the national interest; we mean those 175 who will work hardest to create the biggest profits. If we are to persuade these people to stay in this land of ours, we have to get away from an altitude of mind such as that which underlies the thinking of the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe), which says that there is something immoral in people using the techniques of industrial expansion to run their business, because they will simply cross the Atlantic, where this sort of thing is praised, admired and not frowned upon.
There is a growing list of matters of this sort which have been dealt with by the Government—for example, the nationalisation of steel, the increasing level of taxation, the Land Commission Act and the imposition of comprehensive schools on communities which do not want them. Every time that one of these things happens, one or two more people say, "This is the sort of society in which I want to play no part" and they decide to go. 1 am not trying to condemn hon. Members opposite for that sort of view. I merely say that if they hold that view, the price will be measured in terms of people who disagree fundamentally with them and who leave the country, many of them for good.
If hon. Members opposite as part of their political propaganda are to spend a large proportion of their time denigrating the profit motive, talking about industrialists as though they are always trying to do something on the cheap, and if the Prime Minister is to have a perpetual sneer on his lips whenever he talks about people trying to make bigger profits, they will find that this society of ours will never again flourish in the way in which it could. If it is given the opportunity to expand, if we are to provide the opportunities that will attract the people about whom we are talking it will require a fundamental difference in approach on the part of the Government. Without it more and more people we cannot afford to lose will opt out.
§ 7.0 p.m.
§ Mr. Lewis Carter-Jones (Eccles)
wish to begin with a quotation from an article which apeared in The Guardian. It says:There are many reasons why young men leave home, and indeed there are many reasons why they should. Blanket criticism is both un- 176 fair and unprofitable. The most valid conclusion one can draw from the debate on the emigration of scientists is that scientists are not very well understood by politicians, and perhaps this should come as no great surprise.In speaking in terms of scientists going overseas, the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) referred to business and used the expression "expense account". In my opinion, that was a damning indictment of British industry which I will not accept. I do not believe that major decisions in industry are dictated by whether or not a prospective client is entertained. If major decisions for or against depend on that sort of thing, there is something radically wrong with our industry. However, I do not accept that that is the situation.
I found myself in agreement with a good deal of what the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) said when he talked about the problems of the brain drain as they exist. It is right that the Motion should have been tabled, but should we not think of something else? We are concerned about the brain drain. However, if there were no brain drain, we should have more reason to be worried. The fact that there is a brain drain indicates that we are producing people whose skills are required overseas. That is a tribute to our educational system, and it should be reported here and now. Do not let us run away from that all the time.
Nevertheless, it is perfectly true that we have to face a problem. There are difficulties. Somehow or other, the Government have a responsibility. I should like to think that the Opposition feel the same, because the right hon. and learned Gentleman identified himself with that sentiment. His words were that we all have a responsibility, and I am glad to see that there are hon. Gentlemen opposite who agree with me on that point. There is a problem.
At the same time, we must not allow ourselves to become a nation of technological pimps. We cannot afford all the time to live off the skills, developments and productive capacities of other countries. There are certain things that we have to do for ourselves. We have a responsibility to ourselves, and here probably the Ministry of Technology has the greatest responsibility.
We have to attempt to choose those aspects of industrial activity which are 177 likely to give us the highest returns. We cannot range far and wide on a broad front. We have to be highly selective and, in the act of being highly selective, decision-making will become more and more important.
One thing that is certain is that, in any new major development today, we are involved almost immediately in the expenditure of hundreds of millions of £s., and that involves very careful selection of projects which we ought to push through to their logical conclusion. The hon. Member for Hendon, North (Sir Ian Orr-Ewing) made the valid point that, from time to time, certain ventures and developments have to be taken to their logical conclusion so that those who took part in the initial decision, in the research and development, and in the drafting arrangements can see the final end product. To me, that is one of the most important things that we have to do in British industry today.
I wish to deal with three particular problems. The first is the application of the desalination process, which may have a long-term reward for us and to which The Guardian referred on Saturday. After that, I wish to turn to the Concord project and, finally, the research into microcircuitry as examples of decision making.
It was Cervantes who said:Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.We have to decide the fields of activity in which we have the power to earn. We shall have to be selective, and that will require the joint effort of both sides of the House in assisting decision-making so that our balance of payments eventually comes right.
Perhaps I may be allowed to deal with these three projects, and I start with the research being done on desalination, or the production of flesh water from salt water. At present we have a technical lead, as the result of skilled co-operation between a publicly-owned organisation and a private company. It is rather an expensive project. At present, it is easy to use existing methods of obtaining fresh water, but, as The Guardian pointed out last Monday, as time goes on the availability of water supplies will he reduced and it could easily be, then, that the project in which we now have a lead 178 could pay overwhelming dividends in the form of earned foreign currency.
If we are to keep our lead at a time when we are not getting immediate returns, someone has to make a decision to continue the research. We have to decide to keep ahead of the world, even though the skill and technology may not be used. That means that organisations like the Ministry of Technology must decide to put money into that sort of venture in the hope of long-term rewards. We hope that the day will never arrive when the world becomes partly dependent upon this form of fresh water production. If it does, not only will we have undertaken a task on a very sound economic basis; it may also turn out to be something of extreme importance in terms of social welfare. It may be that we do not value water enough and see too much of it, but there are parts of the world where there is not enough—
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I hesitate to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but I hope that he will keep his argument to the Motion.
§ Mr. Carter-Jones
I will, Mr. Speaker. I am suggesting that, if the people involved in this research work feel that it will be pursued to its logical conclusion, they are likely to remain in this country to see it through.
The second project with which I should like to deal, because of its psychological impact, is the Concord. It is a project which has become somewhat controversial. It is true that, in the long run, Concord may easily earn us money, which is important. It may be that there will be a tremendous amount of technical fallout coming from the project. However, it is also true that it is a first-class example of co-operation between nations, and we ought to be seeing more of it.
If there is one reason above all others why I should like to see the Concord project pushed to its logical conclusion it is that the technology of this country needs a shot in the arm. We need to see a flamboyant demonstration of the ultimate in a technical skill. We have gone through the research and development project. It is now being tested, and it should be in the air very shortly. We have a technical lead over one of the major nations of the world, and we 179 ought to keep it because of its psychological impact, apart from everything else, on the people of our society.
I am glad that my right hon. Friend has returned to the Chamber, because I want to refer in a moment—
§ Mr. David Webster (Weston-super-Mare)
Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that we have no lack of inventive skills in this country? We are always inventing things. What we need today is to develop them commercially, and this is where we often fail.
§ Mr. Carter-Jones
I take that a stage further. Inventiveness may be a feature of the British character, but today, in terms of the amount of money that we require, I believe in the Drucker theory. What we have to do is innovate, and once we decide to innovate and proceed with a set line of technology it involves the expenditure of vast sums of money. Normally this money has to come either directly or indirectly from the Exchequer, and this is why I am glad that my right hon. Friend has returned to the Chamber. More and more his Ministry will have to be choosey and select the projects and the innovations which are likely in the long run to give us a return. This is why, as time goes on, my right hon. Friend's Ministry will become more and more important.
The third element in my argument is one in respect of which we have "taken on" the Americans. It would be wrong to decry the ability of American technology. Theirs is a technical society par excellence, and it has to be accepted as such. Nevertheless, we ought not to be completely mesmerised by their skills. I recently visited Marconi, and was delighted to see that one organisation at least as prepared to tackle the Americans in one of their own specialties and to succeed.
Perhaps I might now marry the various elements together. First, we have to decide quite clearly where our long-term interests lie, and what type of scheme we are going to back. Secondly, because of the psychological impact on our scientists and technologists of constant failure and and constant second-rate we have to make sure that from time to time we back a flamboyant and easily demonstrable 180 successful piece of technology. Thirdly,—and I hope that people will not think I am being too nationalistic about this—we have to compete directly with the Americans in one of their skills. This is vital to overcome any sense of inferiority which we might develop. We must display our ability.
Fourthly, because of the large sums of money involved—and I am sure that the Minister would agree with me on this—we must look around the world at the various countries to find out what type of co-operation we can have with them in joint ventures. I have heard my right hon. Friend argue this point before. It would be particularly appropriate if, arising from Mr. Kosygin's visit, we could co-operate with the Russians in a major project. It would be helpful if we could co-operate with the Germans, and continue our co-operation with the French.
We can talk about money for scientists, because this is important. We can talk about laboratory equipment, and we can talk about all sorts of inducements to go overseas, because these matters are important, but in the end the brain drain will continue because some people want to move in any event. We will, however, be able to hold back a much larger proportion of the people if from time to time we say that certain developments will be taken through to their logical conclusion.
I end with a jingle—He who has a thing to sell,And goes and whispers in a well,Is not so apt to get the dollars,As he who climbs a tree and hollers.I should like to see us start hollering about the ability and skill of our people, and hear a little less of the denigration that I have heard today.
§ 7.15 p.m.
§ Mr. John Pardoe (Cornwall, North)
When I saw the Motion I wondered why the Opposition had chosen this subject for debate today. The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) said that my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) was wrong to cast aspersions on this choice of subject and to say that the debate should not have been held until after the Jones Group had reported. I think that what we have heard so far 181 proves the point made by my hon. Friend, namely, that anybody who ventures into statistics about the brain drain should be very careful about the interpretation which he places on any of the available figures.
A report in the Sunday Express yesterday began with a splendid first paragraph which said:The brain drain is claiming more of our brightest young scientists and engineers than the whole of British industry.That is an alarming thought, but when one reads on and looks further at the figures one sees that it means very little indeed.
I think that the choice of this subject for debate today is perhaps not entirely unconnected with the recent brain drain from the Central Office. Addressing myself to the Motion, I am bound to say that it is a supremely insular one. I also ringed round the words "remain at home", because this conjures up cosy chats by the fireside in old English front parlours, the good old British people staying at home, and all the rest of it, and I wonder whether the Opposition showed this Motion to Sir Francis Chichester.
The extraordinary idea put forward by the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) that young people should not wish to go abroad is really quite new.
§ Mr. Heseltine
It is not that I object to people going abroad. It is that I am dismayed that more want to go abroad for good than want to come to this country for good.
§ Mr. Pardoe
According to the hon. Gentleman, from the sample of 300 a week who come to him, a few months ago 37 per cent. said that they would be willing to work abroad, and more recently 46 per cent. I should have thought that that showed the young people might be gaining a sense of adventure, because the idea that people should not wish to go abroad is new to a country which knows anything about the Elizabethan era.
The hon. Gentleman also mentioned arts graduates in advertising. I am an arts graduate, and I have been in advertising. Indeed, I took part in the expense account racket to which the hon. Gentleman referred, and that is why I know something about it. An arts graduate who 182 manages to do a year or two in an American advertising agency substantially increases his value in the home market when he returns, and a large number of leading advertising executives in agencies throughout London have done a stint in America because of this.
How much of a drain do we have? There are extraordinarily inconclusive figures about the net loss, and indeed about the reasons for it, and I hope that the Jones Group will produce figures for the net loss and also, of course, the reasons for it. But whatever figures we work on, there is undoubtedly a problem. It does exist, but it is a European problem as much as a British one. If it is slightly more exaggerated here than in other countries, it is because it is primarily a drain to America, and people in this country have a language advantage over those on the Continent. Scientific and medical knowledge today is international currency, just as the skill of Leonardo da Vinci and similar artists was in Renaissance Italy, and the skill and the art of musicians in 18th and 19th century Europe. People with those international skills, which are valued in international currency, will be drawn across the length and breadth of the world. It is right they should.
Why do they go—apart from a sense of adventure which seems to be absolutely natural and wholly desirable? First, salaries in American industry are substantially higher than they are in this country or in Europe. Remuneration in American universities is very much higher than at equivalent levels here. It may well be that many more people with a whole range of skills and trades would go from this country if the American immigration laws did not stop them. We already have a considerable brain drain in secretaries going from this country, and I am sure that all kinds of people would go to America in order to enjoy the higher standards of living if they were allowed in. Doctors, scientists and engineers are allowed in because the American economy needs them.
What about the disincentive of our tax structure? The trouble is that no one has any idea how much of a disincentive our taxation system is. We have done no research into the question how people like paying their taxes—or, putting it in a more delicate way, how they do not like 183 paying their taxes. Do they prefer to pay their taxes directly from their pay packet, or as a toll on the roads, or a payment across a doctor's surgery? I hope that the Government will carry out some research in order to see how far our present taxation methods are a disincentive to people earning higher Incomes.
The Liberal Party has for long regarded the disincentive as real, and has pressed for a redistribution of the tax burden from direct to indirect taxation. In order to make up for the social hardship which this will cause we have also devised a total reform of the social security system.
What about opportunities? There is no doubt that scientists go to American universities because there is much greater scope to work with industry, which means that they have bigger projects to work on. It is not merely a question of keeping these people at home or encouraging them to stay at home; I wish the Motion had been phrased in a way critical of the Government's failure to encourage people to come here. It would have been easier to support such a Motion wholeheartedly, because we must encourage people to come. I welcome the Government's initiative in setting up a register. The Royal Institute of Chemistry has set up a specialist register of this sort for chemists working in America, so that they can return to British industry easily. I hope that we shall shortly have a centralised version of this register.
We must also consider the size and excitement of projects on which British scientists are being asked to work. There is no alternative to a united Europe if we want to solve this problem. In the new technological industries, the aircraft industry, and computer industry, the British home market is not large enough to sustain the size of operation to create the excitement the scientists require. I remind the House that the Liberal Party has seen this problem coming for a long time.
Another factor which may be of interest and which has not yet been mentioned is the reluctance of scientists to manage. Some scientists say, "The moment we get into the management level all research is left behind". Scientists are reluctant to go into manage- 184 ment, where the higher levels of salary are paid. It may be true—there are no reliable figures to go on—that a scientist doing research in America has a higher status than a scientist doing similar research here inside his company. In order to achieve comparable status in Britain it is necessary for the scientist to go into management. Some scientists do not wish to do so.
Doctors create a separate problem. Hospital experience abroad is of immense value to them and to us, their patients. It seems that most general practitioners go either because of a feeling that they are not being paid satisfactorily here or because they are ideologically opposed to the National Health Service. I do not see how we can change either of these factors without paying substantially more money for medicine—but I do not believe that this can be injected into the National Health Service from the general taxation fund.
§ Mr. Bernard Braine (Essex, South-East)
The hon. Member is doing a grave disservice to doctors. A minority may go overseas with these motives, but as far as I know the majority go because they find that they cannot practise good medicine here.
§ Mr. Pardoe
That is partly true. Some doctors to whom I have spoken have mentioned this. But it all comes back to the fact that there is not enough money in our National Health Service.
§ Mr. Will Griffiths (Manchester, Exchange)
The hon. Member has been speaking about the Liberal Party and its keenness that we should enter Europe. Has any European country anything so comprehensive as the British National Health Service? Is the hon. Member satisfied that the standards of medical practice in Continental countries are as high as they are in Britain?
§ Mr. Pardoe
Yes, in nearly all the six Common Market countries the level of benefit throughout the whole social security field is substantially higher than it is in this country. I agree that we are alone in having a National Health Service, but Germany makes very good provision in this respect, and I would say that through private insurance in partnership with State schemes the 185 German people are in many cases getting a better deal out of their health service than we are out of ours.
We cannot hope to improve our health service sufficiently to encourage these people to stay or to encourage more doctors to come here unless we can inject some more money from private insurance sources. The National Health Service is in need of a radical overhaul in the method of its financing.
Many suggestions have been made for increasing the flow of graduates and expanding medical schools and universities. We have had the Robbins Report. After that, for a few weeks everybody was up in arms about expanding British universities. Then we had the Newsom Report, and everybody was up in arms about our secondary schools. Now we have had the Plowden Report, and everybody is up in arms about the plight of the primary schools. But these priorities disappear as quickly as they come. At this stage we cannot commit the Government to increase the proportion of our educational expenditure devoted to higher education when primary education desperately needs more money.
My hon. Friends and I will be voting against the Government tonight, not because we agree with the terms or wording of the Motion but because the Government have failed to create a mood of excitement, of national purpose, which will give people the feeling that there is adventure to be gained from working in this country. A doctor who recently returned from the United States told me, "Britain is quite an exciting place. There is a lot going on here. You have lost an empire and it is hoped to build a new nation." That was the only time that sentiments of that sort have been expressed to me in the last two or three years.
It a spirit of adventure could pervade the whole of our scientific and academic endeavour, the situation would be very different. Unfortunately, hon. Gentlemen opposite have a puritanical attitude towards high earnings and in the implementation of the incomes policy they have created the impression that that policy is aimed at keeping wages down. We, on the other hand, believe that Government policy should be designed to push wages up. There is nothing wrong with high 186 earnings, as long as they are really earnings.
We will be voting against the Government because they have failed to create this mood of national adventure and excitement. Indeed, when one looks at the white heat of the technological revolution one fears dejectedly that the flames have been somewhat doused by the Prime Minister's well known brand of H.P. sauce.
§ 7.31 p.m.
§ Mr. Raphael Tuck (Watford)
Two observations which fell from the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) astounded me. He said that the brain drain operated because of people's wish to opt out of democratic Socialism. He had previously said, however, that there was a brain drain from other countries as well. I regret that the right hon. and learned Gentleman is not in his place because he might have been able to explain those two observations, since although those other countries do not have democratic Socialism, they also have a brain drain. The answer must, therefore, lie somewhere else. The right hon. and learned Gentleman also said that people who paid Surtax were being driven abroad. However, we are not talking about a gain drain but a brain drain—a drain of brains to other countries and not of people who pay Surtax.
I am adept for sticking my neck out, and I will do so today. I am certain from what I have already heard that what I intend to say will not be popular on either side of the House for it should be noted that the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone said that we must not restrict the movement of people, that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology said that there should not be controls and that the law should not be used to stop emigration and that my hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) said that there must not be any regulations compelling people to remain in this country.
I am not suggesting that there should be compulsion. However, the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone went on to say that we could not compete with the Americans. I agree with him entirely in this observation. How nice it must be for the Americans to watch our young men and women scientists and 187 technologists being trained, often at public expense, so that they can, when the time arrives, cream off the top layer to their own advantage.
If our community is paying—as it often is; and many hope that it will pay fully—for the education of its young people, the community has the right to expect that the results of that education will finally be directed to and used in the community's service. Years ago, when I joined an Inn of Court, I studied the conditions of scholarships of competitive examination and noted that if a person was successful in winning one of those scholarships he had to sign a declaration that he expected and intended to practise as a barrister in England. It was expected that if he did not do so, the money spent on that scholarship would be refundable by him.
The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone said that we hoped that people who went abroad would come back again. I have nothing against people going abroad to further and improve their education, but pious hopes that they will come back are not enough. I therefore suggest that my right hon. Friend might consider my suggestion that the person concerned should be required to refund the money spent on his or her education if he or she subsequently decides to remain permanently out of this country. If the community helps the individual, it has a right to expect that individual to help the community in return.
§ 7.36 p.m.
§ Mr. Charles Morrison (Devizes)
The hon. Member for Watford (Mr. Raphael Tuck) considers that a refund should be paid to the community by individuals who remain abroad. He did not suggest any possible answer to the obvious question; and I am, therefore, forced to wonder how on earth any Government could regain that money from people who have gone abroad.
Until two and a half years ago we heard continually from Labour politicians of the need to block the brain drain and of how a Labour Government would undertake that task. Yet now, with even greater intensity, one might say that Britain is not so rich in facilities for training scientists and technologists that one 188 can let the brain drain continue. One could add, "We are not even selling the seed corn—we are giving it away", to echo the words of the present Prime Minister at Scarborough in 1963.
Nowadays it is not so customary to hear the views of the Prime Minister on the brain drain, but some of his hon. and right hon. Friends have put forward a different attitude, inside and outside the House. I regret that the Secretary of State for Education and Science is not in his place, because I recall that on 25th May last he said that he had never taken the alarmist view of the brain drain that some people seemed to take—an odd attitude compared with some of the statements made only a few years previously. Since the Labour Government came to power, far from stemming the flow, the evidence is that the brain drain has got worse. Cmnd. 3101 stated in paragraph 90:However, our impression is that there may have been a greater flow of scientists and engineers to the U.S.A. since then,"—since 1963—unbalanced by a return flow, and that this has been particularly marked in the last year or two".My hon. Friend the Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine) emphasised this aspect of the problem and pointed out in his excellent speech the snowball effects that the brain drain is having.
Those leaving this country have been put into four categories, first, mature scientists and research workers in universities or research institutes; secondly, young men and women who have just obtained higher university degrees in pure and applied science; thirdly, scientists and technologists, including engineers in industry; and, fourthly, doctors. It is of little use members of the Goverment attempting to play down the importance of the loss of these people, because clearly their departure is extremely serious.
The Government attitude and performance are only of passing interest. They demonstrate a record of inability to tackle and to cope with a problem which has beset this country with growing menace and meaning during recent years. It is far more relevant to consider what should be done and what part the Government have to play. It is to this that the second part of the Motion refers. In the 189 debate on 20th December in another place, a noble Lord said:The Government role is a subtle one and consists of supporting in a sustained way the most exciting work.Perhaps excitement is just one of the keys to this problem. Young men want excitement in whatever they are doing and this is no new phenomenon. Through history they have been able to gain excitement in one way or another, perhaps in wars, perhaps in exploration and perhaps in colonisation, but in times past it has probably been more usual for those young men to return home in due course with their fortunes.
Now it is possible to go abroad, at least to countries which in the context of this debate are most significant, to make a fortune and to enjoy greater benefits and a higher standard of living than that which exists at home. This is the basic cause of the trouble. If there are two countries and the economy of one is stronger than that of the other and it offers a higher standard of living, there is bound to an emigration from the less well-off country to the better-off country.
In this respect the attraction of the United States of America compared with that of this country is a key ingredient of the brain brain. This is one of the main reasons why British people leave this country in the same way as Great Britain benefits from immigration from the under-developed countries.
There are other reasons and I shall mention one or two. In this country we produce highly-qualified young men. They expect to receive promotion on the basis of their ability. Far too often the promotion is made according to age and seniority. When young people hear of others of their age in the United States or other countries who have been swiftly promoted and as a result are earning higher salaries and, what is more, taking home more money after taxation—it is hardly surprising that people in this country think of migrating as well. In this respect, Government and industry have an important part to play.
Similarly, in the sphere of taxation mentioned by a number of my hon. Friends, particularly the hon. Member for Hendon, North (Sir Ian Orr-Ewing), I remind the House that the point at which the British tax system becomes signifi- 190 cantly more punitive than those of its main trading rivals is at the £1,500 income level. After that only the Swedes pay more tax than ourselves, and after the £2,000 income level even they have tailed off in the heavy taxation stakes.
What is important about this is that the level of income at which taxation hits hardest is very much the same as the level at which many of the younger scientists are earning. It is all very well for the Government to expect people to pay a growing proportion of increased earnings in taxation, but there is not much point in this philosophy if it operates on the law of decreasing returns. If Britain, as a result of high taxation, loses just the people she should keep if her economy is to be adequately expanded, the rate of increase in the tax base will be eroded, and eroded to the relative advantage of our competitors. Surely the question of taxation is one which the Government must be tackling with great seriousness. I hope the Minister of Technology is pressing the Chancellor of the Exchequer to show more imagination about the taxation of people we are discussing today.
Young scientists wish to be closely connected with and to see the results of their research. Here is another field in which the Government can help. In 1964–65 the United Kingdom spent about 3 per cent. of the gross national product on research and development. That is almost exactly the same proportion as the United States spends of its gross national product, but the location of the work in the two countries was very different. Here we spend approximately 7 per cent. in the universities, 3 per cent. in public corporations, 30 per cent. in Government establishments and 60 per cent. in industry, whereas in the United States about 20 per cent. of the work is done in the universities and most of the remainder in industry, although 66 per cent. of the cost is paid by the Government.
By doing 80 per cent. of research and development in industry, it is directly aimed towards increased productivity and the 20 per cent. in American universities produces an output of more trained scientists and engineers. Here with 30 per cent. in the Government establishments there is a far greater proportion of research and development which is coupled neither to education nor to production. Could it be, therefore, that too great a proportion 191 of this type of research and development has no end product, with the consequence that the scientists engaged become frustrated and wish to move elsewhere, where they can see more of the fruits of their labours? Perhaps the Minister of Technology will ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, who is to reply to the debate, to say what consideration is being given by both Departments to the placing and apportionment of research expenditure.
As my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) said, the product of British education is of a very high quality. It must, therefore, be adequately rewarded and given adequate opportunity to excel. Even if we had those two things we should not stop the brain drain, because of course we cannot hope to compete absolutely with the draw of better-off countries, but, by careful choice of projects and the careful choice of subjects for research and development, at least the brain drain can be partially checked—if it is seen that in the United Kingdom excellence and success are held in high regard. At present I am certain they are not.
Dr. Lynn, lecturer in psychology at Exeter University, in a recent excellent article in The Times wrote:The value of achievement is no compatible with that of equality. The value of achievement is inseparable from excellence, quality and success in competition. The more highly equality comes to be regarded, the less room there is for achievement. Britain surely needs a change of attitude here.Let us, therefore, for heaven's sake, hear from everyone, and particularly from hon. Gentlemen opposite, not so much about equality but more about excellence and achievement. There will then be a greater chance of retaining those who will secure the country's future, and then, also, Britain will become a more exciting place in which to live.
§ 7.50 p.m.
§ Mr. Eric Moonman (Billericay)
Many of my former colleagues in research departments of universities will be somewhat amused tomorrow when they read in the newspapers, and possibly in the OFFICIAL REPORT, the Opposition Motion and some of the generalisations made in the debate, particularly by the 192 right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). This is not to say that the right hon. and learned Gentleman's speech was not amusing. Indeed, I enjoyed it very much. But it seems to me that he is engaged in conversation research. This is a handicap suffered by many people outside the House. I would have hoped that this would not have been brought into the Chamber.
The Motion contains the implication that there is dissatisfaction with the Government and that this is why we have the brain drain. This is nonsense. The problem has been with us for a number of years, and will no doubt continue for some time—if it is quite as large a problem as has been suggested.
Another piece of conversation research is that there are no jobs at the top and that is why people leave this country. I am not sure that this is so. The great range of people who are inclined to move out of the country for other experiences in the United States and other countries are not usually those who are at the top of a particular research project. There are exceptions, but in the main such research as we have done on this suggests that people have gone because they want other experiences and want to add a new piece of material to the job that they are working at. This is quite different from suggesting that people leave this country because they cannot get to the top.
The last piece of conversation research by the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite—I hope that it was not meant to be a serious piece of research—was that a whole generation is leaving Britain. It is most unfortunate that this should be said because it is misleading and wrong. It also suggests a misjudging of the reason why many research workers feel that they ought to leave the country for a short or long period. I would emphasise that the Minister of Technology said that we are spending more on scientific research and development in this country than any other country of comparable size. That is a fact, one of which we should make more use. We should give expression to it on every possible occasion. Certainly, research expenditure has more than doubled in the last decade.
193 In order to be helpful, I will give figures associated not with the last two years but with a period covering the Conservative Administration as well as the recent Labour Administration. In 1955 £300 million was spent, and by 1965 that had increased to £756 million. Research in universities has also increased in this period, the figures being—14½ million in 1955 and £55 million in 1965. The proportion of the total spent by the research councils which the Council for Scientific Policy has a direct responsibility to advise amounted to£43 million in 1964–65. This has been increasing at 13 per cent. per year. What a pity that we have made political points about it! I think that the Government can afford to be generous in this respect. I hope that the Opposition will take the cue when the debate is wound up from the other side of the House.
I come back to the reasons for people leaving this country. The brain drain is a nice, useful popular image to describe something which has many serious implications. It concerns the movement of people. It concerns the search for ideas and new experiences. This is legitimate. A speaker in another place was much more realistic when he said that people had been doing this in other forms from this country and that that accounted for the Patagonia sheep farms.
The problem is exaggerated. It may be that Ministers in the past few years can be blamed for this, too, because we have not enough information. If we have not the information, it seems to me that the Ministers concerned should have established a mechanism within their Departments to provide it for us. That is why we have had the generalisations which have been made in this Chamber on many occasions. It is not good enough to say "We will try to produce a register which will give us an indication of what people are doing." I question the idea of a register. I hope that the Minister will tell us a little more than he has said already. If a proposal is being put forward which is meant to resolve part of the difficulty, we ought to be told much more about it, or it could not have been mentioned in the debate at all.
Our statistics suggest one or two things. The Report of the 1965 Triennial Manpower Survey of Engineers, Technolo- 194 gists, Scientists and Technical Supporting Staff said on page 36:The Ministry of Technology has carried out an analysis from available statistics and other sources of the migration of British and Commonwealth scientists and professional engineers to and from the United Kingdom for the years 1956–63. This indicated an annual outward flow of 3,000–4,000 people and an annual inward flow of 2,000–3,000. There was a net balance over the six years of about 4,000 in favour of emigration, with Canada and the United States accounting for most of this total … What is not known is the balance in terms of the quality of scientists and engineers gained or lost.So we come to the crucial question in terms not only of numbers but of quality—the actual quality of the people who are leaving. Another generalisation made earlier was that America is plundering all the available talents. Steven Dedijer's Study some years ago suggested that only a minority of scientists, engineers and doctors from this country emigrate to the United States. Whether we are dealing with Norwegian engineers, Indian scientists or Pakistani scientists and engineers, they are not just flooding into the United States. It is true that British Ph.D.s go to the United States, but it is one in two; it is not all. This destroys half the case made by the Opposition.
There are three areas at which we should look. The first reason why we must accept this movement is communications. The better links between nations today encourage scientists to move around. This is a realistic factor. This is why the Hatch/Rudd survey of two years ago discovered on interviewing a number of Ph.Ds—these are facts; the right hon. and learned Gentleman may not like them, but they are things that he should have brought out instead of engaging in conversational research—that 15 out of 30 Ph.Ds did not say that it was because of the Labour Government or because they wanted more money that they were going to the United States. They mentioned a desire to travel and gain experience of a different country. One man said that he wanted the opportunity to live and work in another country and to see something of the world. Another referred to his desire to broaden his education in all senses, to learn from the Americans and to visit many parts of the United States.
I hope that I have put back at the Opposition what any research worker 195 would do, which is the available information. It is because the Opposition are not able to understand the problems of research workers that they put down extraordinary Motions like the one before us and use dubious phrases like "brain drain".
§ Mr. Moonman
It seems to me that we are all wiser. Whatever happened in the past certainly happened before I was a Member of the House of Commons.
One other factor which seems to me to be worthy of attention is the use of the term in the heading to this Motion. Certainly it is a phrase which has meaning outside, and the newspapers, when they are selecting their headlines, will use this. I cannot condemn them, but I think it is important to note that this was the heading selected for this Motion.
As for the other important charge which was made by the Opposition, the one about salaries, it seems to me that what is being said here is that because scientists and engineers can earn more in the United States they will leave; but to return to the study I mentioned before, the Steven Dedijer Survey, which is one of the few surveys on this subject, it said that the return flow from the United States began within a year, and it suggested the point about getting a piece of experience, getting some additional research material, and then coming back. It continued:This reached a peak before rather after the Ph.D. was gained and thereafter it declined slowly.I would offer this view, that certainly in some cases there will be men who will want to earn a greater amount of money and greater rewards for their training and experience, but I think that some of the facts suggest that many others of them are looking for things other than salaries, because they do return. We must bear this in mind, that many do return.
196 As for the things we ought to be looking at, I suggest that a great deal more servicing needs to be done for those who work in universities and colleges in this country. We have had an amusing debate before on the extent to which lack of proper expense accounts causes British men to leave this country to work abroad because they are more intelligent and vigorous, but there are many university research workers who do not think in terms of such expense accounts but simply in terms of basic expense accounts, and I can recall one occasion spending something like two days arguing with the university authorities about a member of my staff to be paid a proper mileage allowance for perfectly legitimate business on behalf of research. We were arguing whether it should be 4½d. or 4d. a mile. In the end, one research worker, a rather dour north countryman, decided to take the local bus. He thought that much more effective and thought that decision-making of the best and highest level. That, however, is the sort of servicing which many research workers need and have not got, and I think that whatever can be done to provide for that with closer links with industry should be done.
I think the most important reason why people decide to move from the United Kingdom for short or long periods is that the very nature of research has become more complex, and on an increasingly bigger scale, than it used to be. It has become an international job, so that if one wants to get extra experience of one's work, as it is in other parts of the world, it is necessary to go elsewhere to get it. Therefore, we should not criticise, but rather recognise that this has become quite necessary in the development of skill.
I suggest that the scope has become enormous. We should concentrate, firstly, our resources on a few things. Secondly, we should involve other nations in joint efforts. Thirdly, we should involve commercial firms. I think this is something which can be done by universities, involving a small unit of a department entirely within an industrial organisation. Fourthly, we ought to involve management in a proper organisation of company research, because many research workers in industry are frustrated because management itself does not properly understand their problems and does not 197 make full use of their various stages of development in research. That is a management training job. We want to establish also a proper use of those students who have now qualified. For instance, many Ph.D.s are not being properly used. I could not agree more with the Minister of Technology than when he said that we have got a number of well-qualified engineers and scientists who are working in this country and are not doing the job for which they are trained. This is something very difficult to get over, because sometimes their use of the English language is not all that it should be, but they are scientists, and we ought to provide them with the facilities, and here, perhaps, is something which the Department of Education and Science could look at to see how we can get hold of these people. I have been appalled in the course of the last five years to meet some 25 overseas scientists doing other than scientific work, ranging from servicing to helping with the Post Office mail. This is a great waste of talent, and something we ought to look at, and perhaps the Ministry of Technology could communicate with the other Departments to see that these people may go into industry.
I come back again to the suggestion of the register. I would hope that we would get something rather more than the sort of register which was suggested earlier.
In all these suggestions that I have made, the importance of working together with countries in Europe is quite obvious. We have not heard any detailed suggestion about the possibility of a European technological community, but surely at the heart of working with other nations in Europe is the recognition that the Prime Minister has made a proposal to this end and that we ought to look in a more detailed way into how far we can co-ordinate with other nations of Europe so as to overcome the problem of the technological gap between Britain and the United States. Perhaps even more important, we should consider how we can give the right stimulus and guidance in Europe. In that case we should not worry so much about the fact that we are losing people, because I hope that we shall gain French scientists, while we may lose English scientists to Italy. We may have to develop our whole attitude in this way in the future.
198 Britain's economic future rests on advanced technology, which depends on science. We cannot afford to neglect these areas, and we should aim at achieving a solution to the problems of research activities, of co-ordination, of industrial liaison and of co-operation between nations. I urge the Government to concentrate their energies and resources in these directions. I believe that the brain drain will then look after itself.
§ 8.7 p.m.
§ Mr. Airey Neave (Abingdon)
My speech will be mercifully short. I have taken part in many debates on this subject in the past few years, and it seems to me that each time I take part in a debate on this subject I find that the situation has become progressively worse. We are now facing a situation which no one can laugh off, and we must have a proper explanation about the aircraft industry.
§ Mr. Benn
The hon. Member says that the situation gets worse, but there are no firm figures on this matter. Our own figures were discontinued, but the American figures indicate that the number of professional people entering the country in 1965 was reduced compared with 1964. The general assumption that the position is getting worse is not confirmed.
§ Mr. Neave
I have reports which indicate that the proportion of persons with first-class degrees who are going abroad is getting larger, and it is of quality rather than of quantity that I want to speak. I was not satisfied by what the Minister said about the aircraft industry. He cannot laugh off what was said by The Times air correspondent. If it is true that 1,300 key men left the industry last year, that is a serious matter, and it is a worse picture than when I last spoke in the House about it. The S.B.A.C. report quoted by the air correspondent showed that nearly 90 companies were involved in this loss. In another place, on 20th December, it was stated that after the TSR 2 cancellation English Electric lost 760 technical staff, of whom 30 per cent. had gone to the United States. They were said to be the best qualified. There is evidence that it is the best-qualified people who are going abroad.
I do not agree with what the Minister said in his intervention. I think that there is evidence to show what I have 199 outlined. For example, the Willis Jackson Report indicated the type of people going to the United States at present. It said that nine Fellows of the Royal Society had left between 1957 and 1962. The Report came to the conclusion that for some years we have been exporting 15 per cent. of our most highly-trained categories. I accept that it would be a good idea to have a register, but these are reports of some authority, and it is clear that the position has got worse over the years in terms of the categories of people we are losing, particularly those with Ph.Ds and first-class degrees. The same is shown by Table 2 of the Swann Report. Sir Gordon Sutherland estimates the net loss to be 1,500 well-trained men in science, of whom possibly 300 have first-class degrees. That is a very serious matter.
What is the right answer? Many hon. members have referred to the link between the universities and industry. I believe that a much higher starting salary is required in industry, and industry must look at this problem in terms of offering a much better beginning to the career. The prospects of advancement to directorial level must be greatly improved for scientists and they should be given an effective part in management.
The Royal Society Report said that about 20 per cent. of all Ph.D. graduates as long ago as 1961 were going for one or two years but only half would return. If a man wishes to return, he finds it very difficult to discover what posts are available. I suggest that some capital should be found to set up an employment company in private industry to advise people along these lines.
Something is being done by individual firms, but people are seldom interviewed by the man under whom they will work. Industry could form an employment company for that purpose. We should take a thorough new look at the problem.
An hon. Member said that the so-called "leak" relating to first-class honours degrees in the Daily Express was wrong, but it was not wrong in form. It said that industry got only 8 per cent. of first-class honours graduates. That has got worse. It was 10 per cent. the year before and 12 per cent. two or three years before that. There are too 200 many pure scientists and too few applied scientists.
I am in industry, and 1 agree that one of the real causes is that we often have not the right balance between expenditure on research, so that the proportion of a firm's money spent on research and development brings a high and profitable rate of production. Scientists feel that their services are not being used fruitfully. A much larger proportion of research is done in American universities.
We must work for these things, but the Government must help by creating a better climate. The main problem is for industry to set up an organisation to get the men back and to do the job of selection for new jobs. This is a delicate and difficult role, because people must be interviewed who may have been offered jobs already in the United States after two or three years there. I hope that that is a constructive suggestion.
§ 8.14 p.m.
§ Dr. David Owen (Plymouth, Sutton)
We are discussing the migration of scientific manpower, yet we have a total paucity of facts and cannot draw real general conclusions. As a scientist, I find the situation eminently depressing. It is an example of the decrepit machinery on which Government decision-making has consistently been based in the past. One of the greatest attributes of the present Government is their readiness to initiate research programmes to try to decide on valid evidence.
A great deal needs to be done, but this is a significant advance. It would be foolish to pretend that this problem can be solved speedily. It has been and will stay with us for years. It has no single cause and there is no single solution. It has been called a circular problem. We have tended in the debate to talk too much about the drain and not lay enough emphasis on the gain.
In any analysis of this situation we must remember that, although we export scientific manpower, we import it, and most important, re-import it. We send our best graduates away and they come back with new ideas and initiatives, capable of injecting disciplines and ideas into industry and pure science that are of the utmost benefit to the country.
Although my right hon. Friend said that he did not wish to interfere with the 201 free movement of scientific manpower and knowledge—he is right to say that this course is fraught with danger—perhaps we should seriously analyse the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Mr. Raphael Tuck).
Any proposal to indenture graduates to serve for fixed periods is loaded with problems. It would be extremely easy to avoid it. But, more important, the period following graduation is often the best time in which to go abroad. It is the time when one is more susceptible to new ideas and new techniques, when one needs to have the discipline of a totally different environment and when there is an immense amount to be gained, quite apart from the fact that one has not yet settled down and has no family. This is the time when one is prepared to go abroad. We should look at this extremely carefully. Forcibly to limit our traditional academic freedom to seek knowledge wherever it is is something that we should only do as the last desperate step. It would be a dangerous and possibly a damaging intervention.
I want to talk a little about Europe. We know from American statistics for 1962–64 that Europe was the birthplace of 50 per cent. of all emigrating scientists to the United States and that 20 per cent. came from the United Kingdom and 8 per cent. from Germany. This points to a real need to widen the European base of science and technology. In the words of Nature, we want a situation where young United Kingdom students are… able to satisfy their postgraduate wanderlust in Europe.This is the first positive suggestion I have to put. I hope that not only will the Government pursue entry into the E.E.C. with vigour but that they will also start now discussions for fostering European scientific and technological co-operation prior to any decision to make formal negotiations for entry. This would show Europe that we were determined to forge much more than the present rather limited bilateral agreements between countries.
I believe that this would show that we really meant it when we said that we wished either to set up a European technological community or, more likely, to fuse science and technology with the existing Communities. This would be a 202 positive step forward, and I recommend it most strongly to the Government.
It has long been felt, as many hon. Members have pointed out, that we need a more intimate relationship between industry and the universities. In the United States, it is often thought that this is one of the factors which make America a stimulating place to work in. There is a mobility of appointments in the United States as compared with the United Kingdom. I can vouch for that myself in medicine and academic medicine. We have not yet developed the situation where it is considered normal for scientists or civil servants in scientific departments also to work in industry or to spend some time in academic departments. We have not yet developed a structure in which scientists in industry can expect to press up through the higher tiers without having to go into administration. Often a scientist has to change to administration just at the stage when he should go on with his scientific work. We should look into this.
I bow to no one in my desire to pursue excellence and reward talent and initiative, but there is a balance to be struck and the debate has been notable for the total lack of balance in the Opposition approach to this subject. The debate has just begun to show the true line of attack, which was carefully concealed by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg). He started reasonably and peacefully and I began to think that we were to have a most interesting debate. Eventually, however, in a flood of rhetoric, we heard what he really feels—that talent will always go where the money is. That was one of his statements.
§ Dr. Owen
I am well aware of that. I said that it was one of the right hon. and learned Gentlemen's statements with full approval. It may have been said by Lord Snow, but it is a belief that I do not altogether hold.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman also asked whether it was in the interests of the lowest-paid workers to starve the skilled. He notably failed to show any 203 evidence that we had starved the skilled. He did not pay any attention to the real starvation which exists in this country. It is this lack of balance on which I attack the Opposition.
The theme was developed and came out in all its nakedness in the speech of the hon. Member for Tavistock (Mr. Michael Heseltine)—I am sorry that he is not in his place. I live in part of his constituency. He had the courage, if one might call it that, to defend expense account living. He talked about the entrepreneur society and one in which the only motivation in choosing a job was gain. He did not qualify this, but I presume that he meant purely financial gain. All through the Opposition speeches we have had an attack to alter the tax system to widen the differentials, to pay the pace-setter more, to help the Surtax payer. At last the Opposition have shown their true colours.
I should like to say to the hon. Member for Tavistock that there is more to life than just pure financial gain, and if he does not understand this I would like him to think of the many talented people in the country who do not measure gain purely in terms of increasing their standard of living, who do not qualify and judge their lives in purely materialistic terms, to whom personal profit is not the prime motive for living.
I believe that we should look at these people—teachers, nurses, probation officers, social workers and, what is relevant to this debate, scientists. Sometimes I think that hon. Gentlemen opposite do not know how scientists feel. The majority of scientists are among the least interested in pure profit motive and pure gain. They do, of course, take it into account, and I am not saying that they should not, but this is not a major factor. One of the major factors in their lives, I believe, is the facilities and the opportunities to practise their particular art and work in decent conditions.
Hon. Gentlemen opposite keep talking about salary levels. There is very little evidence of this. Certainly there is no more evidence to support their claim than, I admit, I have evidence to support mine, because I believe that salaries are not the major issue.
204 Dr. Richard Rushton, writing in the New Scientist, himself a recent emigrant to California, wrote:No one to whom I have talked has given higher salaries as the prime reason for their move, however difficult this might seem.Salaries might keep a person in the United States, but Dr. Richard Rushton quotes the major reason for their going as being the massive inertia in British industry. No one is more responsible than hon. Gentlemen opposite for this massive inertia.
What we need now is a real research into why scientists are leaving. Although I listened with interest to some of the proposals which my right hon. Friend produced, I do not think they were wholly adequate.
Nature said that what was wanted wasA rounded sociology of the migration, not just an anthology of what people say in the cocktail lounges of Transatlantic liners.It is about what is said in those cocktail lounges in Transatlantic liners that we have heard from hon. Gentlemen opposite. They have refused to look at what studies there are, and what studies we have do not confirm many of their premises. I would like the Government to make a study in depth, with experienced interviewers talking to scientists in this country, to detect their frustrations and their criticisms. Those frustrations exist. I suggest that analysing people who have already gone, who have already migrated, is not very productive because they tend to rationalise their decision. We should talk to scientists who are in the field now. I believe that we will find a whole host of minor petty irritants which would not cost a tremendous amount of money to remove. In that way, by detecting which countries they are going to and why they choose those countries, we will find out whether the points raised by the hon. Gentleman opposite are true, whether salaries are the critical factor, whether the differential is something to which we have to pay attention. I believe that we have to pay talent. We have to keep talent, but before we do it on some political dogma, let us have the honest facts about this situation. We have suspiciously failed to have them so far in the debate.
§ Dr. Owen
Of course I would not. They have mainly analysed the number of people leaving. We have very little idea of the primary motivation behind emigration, which is what I am discussing. I urge the Government to find out. Numbers and statistics are not enough. Many statistics are falacious because people are on the circle and moving back.
Another consideration which I would like a survey to study is that of status, which is of far more importance than that of salaries which is so often mentioned by hon. Members opposite. For instance, there is evidence to show that one of the reasons why doctors go to America is that in America a doctor has a very high status in society. It changes in different countries. In Russia an engineer has a much higher status than a doctor or a pure scientist.
In this country we undervalue scientists, inventors and innovators. One has only to consider the amount of publicity which we give to pop stars and the gimmicks of life and how little publicity and how little status we give to solid scientific inventors. This is something which can be put right. These are the sort of frustrations which people in this country feel.
I urge the Government to undertake more research in depth and to have less talk about the brain drain. I was very critical about the way in which the salary scales of university clinical teachers were being handled, and in an Adjournment debate I said that the Government had to justify their claim to have reversed the brain drain, as I have said they would, with justification, when speaking on election platforms. Their actions towards university clinical teachers have justified those claims and, within the limits of the prices and incomes policy by which they have been constricted, the Government have given the right priority to a small section of the community which we can ill afford to lose to America or any other country.
The Government should ignore this rather raucous censure Motion from the Opposition and concentrate on getting more facts so that we can take our decisions based on factual evidence.
§ 8.27 p.m.
§ Mr. Bernard Braine (Essex, South-East)
If, as the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton (Dr. David Owen) believes, 206 it is not primarily the attraction of higher remuneration and lower taxation which leads so many of our scientists and doctors to emigrate, it was exceedingly unfortunate that last year the Ministry of Health chose to describe doctors who emigated as being guilty of a cynical and selfish act. Throughout the debate I have been anxious to see that justice is done to the medical profession in this regard.
Of course, financial considerations loom large in the decision of anyone, a young technician, a doctor, or a scientific worker, to uproot himself and to go to live in another country. It has been my experience in such contacts as I have had with the medical profession that while financial considerations may be an important factor, they are not the only factor and by no means the most important to the majority of emigrating doctors.
Hon. Members may have seen an interesting article which appeared in The Guardian on 4th October, 1966. It referred to a report of interviews with doctors who had emigrated to a number of different countries. Of those who were interviewed, only one said he would return to Britain, and that was because the price of housing in New Zealand was too high for his salary. The others, in America, New Zealand and Australia, were emphatic that they would not return to this country however fond of it they were. The major incentive to emigration was not money. Some of those interviewed were earning less than they would have been at a similar stage at home. The most general incentives were the opportunity to practise good medicine, chances of promotion which in this country were often restricted, and conditions which in Britain were still being haggled over by the Ministry of Health and representatives of the profession.
I agree with the hon. Lady the Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) who I thought, made a most interesting speech. I agree with her that there can be no question of our stopping the emigration of doctors. Our object, bearing in mind the considerable pressures on the National Health Service, should be to consider how far we can afford to allow our doctors to go overseas by refusing to provide the conditions which will encourage them to remain. I would go further and say that we ought to encourage those who have already gone to return.
207 The emigration of doctors is no new phenomenon. It is quite true that the Willink Committee, back in the 'fifties, seriously under-estimated the number of doctors we would require in the years ahead. That was not the only example of bad forecasting. This constantly happens, and there is a strong case for Government sharpening of the tools of research and information in order to ensure that the forecasting is much more accurate.
This is no excuse, however, now that we are in the third year of the Labour Administration, for failure to tackle the problem. Where are the new medical schools for which the party opposite agitated in 1964 and earlier? As far as I am aware, the only new medical school established is the one that I announced on behalf of Her Majesty's Government just before the 1964 General Election. I am aware, of course, that there is some expansion of medical schools under way. I am not being too critical. All that I am saying is that the promises made by the party opposite when in Opposition have not been fulfilled to anything like the degree that we were led to expect.
What is new—and here I strongly disagree with the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton, who told us that we had not got the information about this—is that the rate of increase in migration among doctors is now sharply on the increase. In 1964 the loss by emigration was equivalent to nearly one-quarter of the output of our medical schools. That was serious enough to cause alarm. But by 1965, according to Dr. John Seale, and I am quoting from the British Medical Journal of 3rd September, 1966, the rate appeared to have risen to one-third of the output. This is a very serious figure indeed. In addition, it seems that the figures rose even more sharply in 1966.
In 1958 only three doctors practising in this country sat for the examination which enables them to practise in the United States should they ever go there. A year ago more than 400 doctors sat for that examination, and last September more than 600 sat for it. We know that not all of them will go, but they are taking out an insurance policy. A lot will go, and a number have already gone. The trend is serious and cannot be ignored.
208 According to the best authority that I can find it seems that we have been losing British-born doctors at the rate of about 500 a year for the last three years, and the numbers are now increasing. The House has to see this trend against a background of growing dependence in the National Health Service upon doctors from overseas. In 1960 about 36 per cent. of hospital doctors below the rank of consultant were born outside the British Isles—the bulk of them coming from Asian countries. Last year the proportion had risen to 46 per cent.
Over the last 18 months, in my own constituency alone, I have lost five general practitioners who have emigrated to Canada, Australia or New Zealand. This is in a constituency which is having one of the most rapid increases in population in the country. Serious problems have been created. When I raised the matter with the Executive Council for Essex, I was told that it was indeed serious, but that we were by no means as badly off as some other parts of the country.
Just before Christmas, it was arranged for me to meet a number of hospital doctors to discuss their problems. The meeting did not take place. The man who arranged it had accepted an appointment in the United States of America. Not a week now goes by without the newspapers reporting some physician or hospital specialist, sometimes a man with a considerable name and reputation, leaving to go abroad.
To see the situation in perspective, we have to grasp two facts. The first is that the rate of emigration, taken in conjunction with the output of the medical schools and the growth of population, means that the ratio of doctors to patients must worsen. It is bound to get worse before it can get better as a result of any expansion envisaged by the Government in the medical schools.
§ Mr. Rankin
When the hon. Member talks about the rate of emigration, will he also tell us of the rate of immigration of doctors into Britain?
§ Mr. Braine
I am talking about the net loss. Time does not permit me to go into as much detail as I would wish. I refer the hon. Member to the article in the British Medical Journal to which I have referred. He can get it in the 209 Library. I do not think that anybody would quarrel with the figures I have given.
The present rate of emigration, taken in conjunction with the output of the medical schools in the next few years, means that the ratio of general practitioners to patients must worsen. The burden on those doctors who remain will grow. I suppose that the Minister of Health would answer that the new contract for general practitioners, which to some extent, he hopes, will relieve them of some of their workload, will help. We must, however, face the fact that there is little hope of any qualitative improvement in medical services for the people of this country for many years to come. As it is—there can be no argument about this—we are at present treating only the tip of the clinical iceberg. There is a great deal of untreated illness simply because we are short of adequate facilities.
This second fact is that we have become dangerously dependent on doctors from overseas who might be withdrawn from this country in certain circumstances which we can envisage. At the moment, the situation is, perhaps, roughly in balance. It is probably true that about as many doctors are coming in as are leaving the country. In set terms we may be losing a few hundred. We must all be profoundly grateful—I do not want any remarks of mine to be misconstrued—to doctors from Commonwealth countries, who are making an invaluable contribution to the running of the hospital service.
It should not, however, be forgotten that we are losing our graduates—in many cases experienced graduates—to advanced countries overseas and in their place we are gaining doctors from less developed countries who, having improved their skills here, are under a moral obligation to return some time to their own people. It is true that by this means we are making a useful contribution to the health needs of the less developed countries, and I am proud of that, but in the process we are drifting into a dangerous dependence upon doctors who are unlikely to spend the rest of their working lives with us.
The causes of this are not hard to locate. Inadequate financial rewards are part of the story. When most general 210 practitioners, certainly in the area in which I live, are overworked, when hospital doctors are working at between 100 and 110 hours a week, when in the hospital service we have a situation where status, conditions of work and remuneration are simply not related to the work done and the responsibilities carried, we are getting somewhere near the heart of the matter. The Minister of Health knows that perfectly well. In his heart, he knows that he is only tinkering with the problem. He hopes that the new contract for general practitioners will reduce the volume of work, as we all do. He is negotiating about some of the difficulties and discontent in the hospital service. He hints that he will tackle the thorny problem of the career structure, which is one of the main reasons why ambitious doctors leave the country. We wish him well in that.
However, as long as the National Health Service is financed solely out of Exchequer money, all that the Minister is able to do is limited by budgetary considerations. It is not the wishes of the patient that determine the National Health Service which we get, but what the Government are prepared to spend. Until the Government are prepared to grasp the nettle of finance, there is no way of creating conditions which will hold our doctors here, no way of persuading those who have gone abroad to come back home, and no hope of providing the people of this country with the National Health Service which they want and which they could have. In short, it is a matter of the Government willing the means. If they are not prepared to face that, the emigration of doctors will go on and the best interests of the people of this country will suffer.
§ 8.41 p.m.
§ Mr. David Price (Eastleigh)
I am sure that the Secretary of State for Education and Science will join me ill regretting that such a number of hon. Members on both sides have been excluded from the debate. He and I agreed earlier to try to cut down our winding up speeches and to give an opportunity for at least one extra hon. Member to be called. We all regret that the debate cannot go on longer so that we might hear more contributions from both sides.
Before I come to some of the more controversial matters, I want to try to pull 211 the debate together. First of all, I am sure that we all agree that there is a brain drain, that it has been taking place over many years, that its incidence has been increasing in recent years, and that the rate of increase is itself increasing.
It must not be forgotten that we are not only talking about scientists. I am myself extremely concerned about engineers, and my hon. Friend the Member for Essex, South-East (Mr. Braine) has just drawn attention to the number of doctors going overseas. We are talking about a whole range of highly-qualified people, and I think that we can also agree that they represent the most potentially mobile of all labour. Their market is not Britain, but the whole world. The commodity which they have to sell is in great demand because there is a world shortage of it.
With the ease of personal movement, in which term I include the movement of families, the migration of talent is now a worldwide phenomenon. Inevitably, much of the migratory talent is directed to the United States of America, and that is because United States of America is top of the international "pecking" order.
The British brain drain has reached proportions which now make it a serious problem for the future and, therefore, a proper subject for national debate. In a number of spheres of activity, it has exceeded the acceptable level, though I do not suppose that any hon. Member would like to be put in a corner and forced to say what precisely is the acceptable level in any talent. There is a certain intuitive "feel" that in some parameters we have exceeded that level.
Whatever remedies we advocate, none of us would advocate keeping our talent here by restraint. A brain war is an anathema to all that this House stands for, and we must attract our talent to remain with us and never compel it. When I use the phrase "remain with us", we in no way object—indeed, like many hon. Members, we want to encourage them—to people going abroad to get experience. What we mean are people whose intention in emigrating is not to return, and who in fact do not return. The Minister of Technology, like myself, could at one point have been put down as brain drain, but we are both back in this House. That was part of our education, and I think the right hon. Gentle- 212 man will agree that it was a most useful part. We are not making any narrow point on this. It is permanent emigration about which we are concerned.
Obviously there are differences of opinion about the scale of this emigration. What I do not think we have discussed sufficiently is the qualitative element in it, and I think that I agree with the Minister in his emphasis on engineers. Lord Bowden has on a number of occasions given it as his opinion thatthe number of engineers emigrating is three times as great as the number of scientists.Certainly I share the right hon. Gentleman's concern about engineers.
I think that the right hon. Gentleman would agree with me that the engineer, professionally defined, represents the mode of a Gaussian distribution curve of Lord Snow's "Two Cultures" if one likes, with the pure classicist at one end, the pure physicist at the other, and the engineer in the middle. The pure classicist is far closer to the pure physicist than either the practical engineer or the manager.
I think, too, that we are particularly concerned about the loss of our young Ph.Ds. I think that the figures—and there is fairly good agreement on them—are troubling because these young Ph.Ds. are entering the most potentially productive period of their scientific lives. If all the scientists who emigrate were over 50, I do not believe that they would be a serious loss to this country, except in so far as they may be good administrators, because their productive years as scientists would be behind them.
There is another personal factor about people going to America just after they get their doctorates. They are usually men who have only recently married, or who get married when they get to America, and there is a feeling that it is the American wives who make their husbands stay there. I know that there are exceptions and the right hon. Gentleman has proved the exception to the rule, but that is a little later in life, if I may say so.
A good deal of the discussion during this debate has centred around the aerospace industry, and I shall not add anything to what my hon. Friends said about that, or about the emigration of doctors.
213 Some hon. Members have spoken about the lack of research into the problems of emigration. I should have thought that the work of Doctor Seale of the Middlesex Hospital was a good start, certainly in the medical field.
I want to devote the limited time available to me to discussing the causes of the brain drain. I think that the House has agreed that the causes are numerous, and in the final analysis causes are individual and personal to each emigrant. Nevertheless, I think that it is reasonable to look for some of the major causes which run as a common theme through the highly personalised reasons of the individual emigrant.
The hon. Member for Billericay (Mr. Moonman) said that there had been no academic research on this. With respect to him, he is wrong. A lot of work has been done on this, particularly by the Canadians who have had this problem with them for a very long time.
I want to refer the House to the work of the distinguished Swedish sociologist—Steven Dedijer, who said:The migration of scientists is determined in the first instance by the general social, political, economic and scientific conditions of their own country pushing them out and similar forces from other countries pulling them in.Hon. Members will probably equally agree that these are matters over which the Government have control—especially a Government who pride themselves on being an interventionist Government. Furthermore, all the independent research work that I have studied and all the sources that I have consulted show that there is general agreement not only on the definition of specific motives for emigration but also on their relative order of importance. It is interesting that they are close to those outlined by my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon, North (Sir Ian Orr-Ewing).
Outstandingly the prime reason is personal reward. This means not only salary and levels of taxation, but also the relative position of salaries—the real earnings after taxation—in relation to other members of the community. Personal reward is the first motive for emigration. That is fairly obvious. It has been the prime motive for the emigration of scientists through recorded history. I could quote from a contem- 214 porary commentator in 776, when they were complaining that the princely stipends offered in the newly erected city of Baghdad were attracting Jewish, Syrian and Persian scholars, scientists and artists to the new city. The comparison between princely salaries and miserly ones is still a very important factor in the brain drain.
The second reason for emigration is a lack of resources for professional work. The emigration of brains from the aerospace industry after the present Government's butchery of our advanced aircraft projects is a good example.
The third reason pertains to poor socio-physiological conditions for professional people in general—the general atmosphere in which they work. This factor is subjective as well as objective. Scientists, engineers and managers must feel that they are wanted, and that their services are appreciated. Suggestions were made by hon. Members on both sides of the House how the Government on the one hand and industrial employers and universities on the other can produce an atmosphere in which these people feel that they are more wanted. Hon. Members will agree that we must give our professional men the sort of conditions in which they will give of their best. Since so many are employed in the public sector—or are in a position in which their fates depend upon Government decision or indecision—Government responsibility for this set of factors is inescapable.
The fourth reason—and the survey clearly shows that it ranks only fourth—is the lack of professional employment. One reason is that many scientists, especially when young, are a good deal more versatile than we give them credit for. We saw this in the war. When Malvern started radar research it built up a great team from people who formerly knew nothing about it. A similar organisation grew up when Harwell was started. We tend to underestimate the extent to which people from many different scientific fields can come together to make a success of a project.
This view is supported by a copy of the Washington Newsletter on this subject. This is not a handout from the Conservative Central Office. It says:Well-known considerations which influence the younger British scientist, in particular, to 215 work in the U.S.A. are higher starting pay, earlier responsibility and the freedom which is assumed to go with it, better equipment and facilities … He is also frustrated by a feeling that there is less material reward for ability at home and that constant economic crises inevitably cut heavily into long-term research plans; he compares this rather gloomy picture with one of energy and enthusiasm for new projects in the United States, such as those concerned with space research.Whereas I agree with a lot of what has been said about the need to be selective in the projects which we as a nation support, I believe that, above any analysis or estimate of sure return from the engendering of national wealth, we need at least one or two projects that stand as a symbol of our determination to go ahead in science and technology. We have obviously thought of the technology of space for a long time. Maybe we have left it too late. Perhaps we should go in for a major project on the sea—dare I say, "in depth"? Certainly we would be the first nation to be really studying the sea. This is a fascinating subject, but I do not have time to adumbrate that thought.
Those who say that the scientist, because of the objective type of work he does, is not an emotional creature do not understand him. Our scientists need prestige. They need to feel that the nation is backing them. One might say that the Francis Chichester's of science need our support.
When in opposition the Prime Minister harshly attacked the Government of the day about these matters, as my hon. Friends have pointed out. Since the right hon. Gentleman has come to power we have seen no progress. In February, 1964, he made an interesting speech. This extract is particularly relevant and is the reason why we have tabled the Motion:Britain has got the brains, it is the job of the Government to see that we keep them here by making better use of them".The plain fact is that the numbers going abroad are increasing. They are voting against the Prime Minister not with a ballot paper but with an air ticket to the United States—and it is not a return ticket, either. The truth is that the Prime Minister, from his Scarborough speech onwards, has taken the scientists, engineers and managers of this country for the greatest ride in the history of political 216 gullibility. The right hon. Gentleman presented himself to the scientific and managerial world as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. He has proved himself to be The Man From Thrush.
My hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Mr. Charles Morrison) referred to the work of the well-known Exeter psychologist, Dr. Lynn, who has stated:No matter how favourable the economic conditions, the nation can only achieve growth if it has within it a number of individuals who wish to take advantage of these conditions".Dr. Lynn has draw up a table of international ratings in what he calls the "achievement drive". The Prime Minister, who used to be so keen on international league tables, might like to reflect on the fact that Dr. Lynn places contemporary Britain in the bottom third of nations. In his article in The Times, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes referred, Dr. Lynn stated:The low level of achievement drive in Britain goes hand in hand with the low regard for profits, which have become almost something to be ashamed of and objects of derision and abuse. At the same time the business man is exhorted to work harder. It is as if a football team were being encouraged to play well, win the game, but at the same time warned that there is something disreputable about scoring goals".If the Government want to make a real impact on this problem of the permanent immigration of the very skilled, they will have to face up to making an agonising reappraisal of the balance and direction of their policies and priorities. They cannot at one and the same time claim to promote talent and efficiency and foster economic growth and also reduce personal incentive, confine even further freedom of decision—sneer at success, lampoon excellence and ascribe anti-patriotic motives to those with whom they disagree.
Levelling down—the pursuit of crude egalitarianism—is not conducive to the promotion of talent. The sooner the Government recognise this, the sooner will they adopt policies which will attract our nation's talents to stay in Britain, with the result that the general prosperity of all will grow and the quality of life will be enriched.
My final comment is a quotation, again from the Prime Minister in part of his 217 famous Scarborough speech in October, 1963. He said:Britain is not so rich in facilities for training scientists and technologists that we can let this brain drain continue. We are not selling the seed corn, we are giving it away.That was a severe judgment then, but it is an even more severe judgment today.
During the present Prime Minister's tenure of office we have been giving away even more seed corn, and at an accelerating rate. Our Motion shows that the loss has been aggravated. We may argue on the finer details of statistics but the broad trend is clear and the responsibility of the Government is clear. We have established that in this debate beyond argument, assisted where necessary by ample quotations from the Prime Minister when he was in Opposition. We thank him for that.
It would seem that our Motion should be accepted by the whole House without a Division. It is not in the least controversial; it is a simple statement of fact. I realise that hon. Members opposite may find the phrase:far from fulfilling their promisesmildly wounding, but it is still a statement of fact. We can prove it time and time again from the mouth of the Prime Minister. If the Government vote against us tonight, they will be voting against their Prime Minister, unless they do not expect him to fulfil his promises. As for the Prime Minister himself, if he has any memory-and he prides himself on memory—and if he has any conscience—and he prides himself on conscience—he at least will be in the Lobby with us because that is where his promises lie.
§ 9.2 p.m.
§ The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Anthony Crosland)
We have had an extremely interesting debate. I share the regret expressed by the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. David Price) that far more of those trying to take part have not been able to take part in it. The debate was opened by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg) in his most All-Souls, philosophic manner, as opposed to his bell-ringing mood, and for three-quarters of his speech he set an elevating tone, but it 218 rather deteriorated in his concluding sentences.
Almost all the speeches—I have heard a great many and have been told about the rest—have been of a constructive nature. One wonders whether there is anything new which could conceivably be said on the subject of the brain drain, but many interesting suggestions have been made and the Government will study them all. So I have no doubt will all the other various bodies which also are concerned with the question, the working group under Dr. F. E. Jones, which has been much referred to, the Central Advisory Council under Sir Solly Zuckerman, and the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology. Whatever we lack in the next few months, it will not be advice on this subject.
It is difficult in any debate on the brain drain to keep the matter in reasonable perspective, but this debate has been very successful in doing that. As the hon. Member for Eastleigh pointed out with a scholarly knowledge of eighth century Arabia, throughout recorded history there has been a fairly sustained international migration of scientists, scholars and artists, and particularly, I suppose, of soldiers and sailors. This has gone on throughout history, and until very recently it has been assumed to be a thoroughly healthy and desirable thing.
Certainly in this country it has been the general view until very recently that to go abroad rather than to remain at home was not only a properly adventurous thing to do but a thoroughly desirable thing from the point of view of international trade and understanding, the spread of civilisation, and so on. Only comparatively recently has this attitude towards international migration changed and instead of thinking that it was an obviously good thing we find all over the world a nervous, anxious debate on the brain drain. I suppose that the reason for the change in attitude is partly that, like other countries, in the last few years or decades we have become obsessed by the question of economic growth and partly that science and technology are thought to be central to the problem of economic growth. So we now have a completely different attitude to the question of people leaving and going to other countries. The result is that we have this world-wide debate.
219 It is very important to remember, as has been pointed out, that this is not simply a British problem. Indeed, compared with the problem in other countries, for Britain it is comparatively minor. It is a world-wide problem from which we certainly do not suffer the worst. If one takes the comparatively well-off countries, I suppose that the worst sufferers are Australia and, certainly, New Zealand over the last few decades, but the real sufferers and losers are the underdeveloped countries. Compared with their problem, our problem is comparatively minor.
§ Mr. Keith Stainton (Sudbury and Woodbridge)
Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that this phenomenon does not arise in France? Can he explain this situation?
§ Mr. Crosland
The phenomenon arises in France, but it seems to be to a lesser extent than in this country. None of us knows the reasons for any of these things, but one might imagine that the French appear to be more attached than the people of any other nation in the world to their own national life and are more reluctant to emigrate to countries with a different background and culture.
As I have said, it is not Britain but the poorer countries which suffer the worst. If one takes the brain drain flow from Asia to the United States, it is of a very dramatic character. I have recently seen figures suggesting that 90 per cent. of Asian students who go to study in the United States stay there and do not return to their own countries.
My hon. Friend the Member for Halifax (Dr. Summerskill) quoted figures for doctors from a number of African countries. The worry of those countries is infinitely worse than ours. Therefore, when discussing the brain drain in relation to the British problem, it is worth remembering just how much more serious it is for the developing countries. It is they who suffer the real tragedy. We in Britain stand somewhere in the middle. We have a brain drain. We lose on balance, though not on the disastrous scale of many of the developing countries.
How big a loser we are is extremely hard to say, for reasons given in the debate. The statistics are neither complete nor reliable, and many of them 220 came to a stop in 1963 when, for understandable reasons, the previous Government decided not to continue a series of them. So we have extraordinarily little detailed information about who are going, where they are going and for what reasons they are going. The information that we have is rather confused and somewhat contradictory. Some of it has been referred to in the debate. We have the Willis Jackson Report covering the different sciences and technologies and suggesting that in recent years only five per 1,000 per annum at most of the stock of qualified scientists and engineers has been leaving, but it also thought that there were some signs of a greater outflow since 1963.
We have had the Swann Report covering the first employment of post-graduate scientists and technologists, saying that a rising proportion went overseas between 1960 and 1964, and giving alarming figures for physicists, but saying on the other hand that there seems to have been a slight decline in the outflow in 1964–65.
We have a considerable number of figures, which have been referred to, on the outflow of doctors. They suggest that proportionately the outflow has been rather stable over a very considerable number of years. But we also have some figures from American immigration statistics suggesting that the total number of scientists and engineers entering America from Britain rose sharply between 1962 and 1964 but fell in 1964–65. So the picture is not altogether clear.
We have to remember, as the right hon. and learned Gentleman pointed out, that there is not only an outflow. There are two in-flows. One is the brain drain from other countries to Great Britain, and the other is people who have gone abroad and have been employed temporarily and come back, usually much better qualified, to work permanently in this country. Considering these two kinds of reverse movement one gets a rather less pessimistic picture than if one simply considers the outward movement.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for St. Marylebone in previous speeches has drawn attention to some examples of this inward brain drain. He has drawn attention to the fact that 10 per cent. of the members of the Royal Society were born overseas, to the fact that the immediate Past President of the 221 Royal Society, the present Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government and the Chairman of the Council for Scientific Policy were all born overseas, and hon. Members will have seen the remarks of Lord Fulton, the Vice-Chancellor of Sussex University, when he said that no fewer than 60 per cent. of the people holding appointments in Sussex University had worked overseas. It is impossible to go round the British universities today without finding a considerable number of people in every university who were born overseas or who have held overseas jobs. So that one has to remember, when discussing the outward flow, that there is also a very considerable return movement, an inward flow.
However, as I said, taking the general picture, I think the evidence at the moment is rather conflicting, and we shall not have a really clear picture till the Jones Working Group has reported; but we can probably be fairly certain of a number of things. We can be fairly certain that we shall not and should not stop the outward drain altogether. There always has been a movement from the relatively less well-off countries to the relatively more well-off countries, and I am sure that we cannot and should not attempt to stop the outflow altogether. There are in addition one or two reasons for thinking that the outflow may become more serious.
One reason was referred to by the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and that was the almost insatiable and constantly growing demand of the United States for trained scientists and engineers. Some of the figures here are distinctly alarming. Figures have been quoted recently, one estimate showing a possible shortage in America of 20,000 physicists by 1970, about one-third of their total requirement, another estimate showing that in the decade 1960–70 as a whole the United States will produce 500,000 fewer graduate engineers than that country thinks that it needs. These are very alarming figures, alarming not simply to ourselves but also to the rest of the world. I do not agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman or with the hon. Member for Hendon, North (Sir Ian Orr-Ewing) that this is a reflection of the poor quality of the American high school system.
I read Admiral Rickover's book with great interest, for I have a great respect 222 for him both as scientist and scientific administrator, but I think it is fair to say that he represents something of a minority view in the United States, and I do not think that any educational system of any imaginable character in the whole world can possibly meet the demands which the United States economy, particularly with the size of its defence effort and its space effort, is imposing on the system, whether it be a high school system or any other. However, the fact remains that the rest of the world has got to live with this gigantic American demand for scientists, a demand which its own educational system is not going to meet. This once again shows, I think, how really the brain drain is not a specifically British problem. The fact is that it is a world wide problem, and concentrated in the last analysis, on the policies, attitude and demands of the United States.
That is one reason for thinking the problem can become more serious. The other reason for thinking that it could be aggravated is the conclusions of the Swann Report, which showed a very marked unbalance, in the employment of scientists and engineers, between universities on the one hand and industry on the other. A number of hon. Members have drawn attention to this this afternoon. To the extent that universities will expand more slowly, their manpower requirements will decline, compared with what they have been in recent years, and this means that unless industry can make itself relatively more attractive to scientists coming out of the universities then—and I quote the Report furtherpressure to emigrate must inevitably be generated among our best graduates".For these two reasons, it is possible that, whatever the present position, the future position might be slightly worse. As to how far we should worry about this, how tragically we should consider it, how anxious we should be about it, opinions differ, as they have differed in the debate. There has been a tendency, which I share, to think that in the case of scientists, as opposed to engineers, there is no cause for acute alarm, partly because our scientific standards in this country are still quite exceptionally high by any international standards and partly because the rate of increase of Government spending on scientific research is very rapid and has been very rapid for some years past.
223 If we take the findings of the Swann Report, the universities, if anything, are not insufficiently attractive but too attractive compared with other possible forms of employment. There is also the more fundamental reason that science always has been and still is an international community. All nations have benefited from the fact that it is an international community, and the international movement of scientists is essential to this community.
Moreover, the results of scientific research are published and are quickly known all over the world. Given a reasonable investment in scientific documentation, countries can borrow the results of scientific research done overseas. Some economists have argued that from a strictly selfish economic point of view it pays a country not to do very expensive research but to borrow the results of the research done in other countries. They point, for example, to Japan and Germany, which have far fewer Nobel prizewinners than we have but which have had a much more rapid rate of economic growth than we have had. I do not imagine that many hon. Members would go as far as that. In any case, as has been said many times this afternoon, the more serious problem exists of the engineers and the doctors, who make a direct contribution in one case to industrial output and in the other case to the welfare of the community.
There has been a great deal of agreement on a number of constructive ideas which have been put forward in the debate about what should be done to meet the problem. To begin with, there has been agreement on one or two negative points. There has been almost unanimous agreement that we should not deal with the problem by trying to restrict movement out of Britain. I do not think that any hon. Member has advocated that in the course of the debate. There has also been a large measure of agreement that at the end of the day we cannot wholly compete with the United States in terms of financial incentive. As the right hon. and learned Gentleman pointed out, the gap between the American national income and our national income is such that we can never hope to compete 100 per cent. in terms of financial incentive.
224 There has also been agreement on a number of more positive points to deal with the problem which faces us. My right hon. Friend mentioned that we were trying to discover a method of finding better and more accurate statistics. This has been generally welcomed. The establishment and the strong membership of the working group of Dr. F. E. Jones have also been generally welcomed. Although one hon. Member questioned some details of it, the voluntary register which my right hon. Friend mentioned has similarly been thought a helpful idea.
There has been agreement that we need more European technical, technological and scientific co-operation to provide some degree of counterweight to the American attraction, and a good deal has been said about that today. Both the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of Italy have put forward ideas for a European technological community. As the House well knows, there are a number of scientific and technological co-operative enterprises already in being.
One point I should like to add—as I share the views about how important this is—is that in conjunction with the Royal Society and the Research Councils we are trying to establish an international fellowship scheme for scientists which will encourage the movement of scientists between different European countries and, I hope, encourage the building up of increasingly strong centres of scientific research in European countries.
There has also been almost unanimous agreement on the need for industry to provide better prospects and opportunities for scientists. A number of hon. Members have said that a considerable change of attitude in industry is needed if they are to offer prospects at all equivalent to those of American firms. As the hon. Member for Hendon, North, rightly said, there must also be a change of attitude by the universities. They have shown a certain indifference in the past to the needs of industry and engineering, as opposed to those of pure research.
The hon. Member will know that there are a number of ways in which we are trying to get better mutual understanding and closer co-operation between industry and universities—the sort of ways suggested in the Arthur Report and the Bosworth Report and there is now a 225 working group of the Science Research Council under Lord Halsbury examining S.R.C. scholarships and how they can be given to encourage closer co-operation between industries and universities than in the past.
There has also been general agreement on the need for more effective action on counter-recruitment, or re-recruitment. The Government already have the American Mission made up of representatives from the Ministry of Technology, the Civil Service Commission and the Atomic Energy Authority. Reference has been made to the efforts of the Royal Institute of Chemistry to maintain a register of chemists who have emigrated, so that they should be made aware of possible employment opportunities when they return. A number of private firms like I.C.I. and Unilever have also made successful efforts to attract back to industry those who have emigrated to the United States.
But industry must make far more efforts than it is making at the moment. This was clear from the Report of the Director-General of N.E.D.C. after a tour of American business management schools. This is an area where a good deal remains to be done.
There have been some suggestions which have not met with such unanimous agreement, to put it mildly. One is that a large part of the trouble is due to the weight of taxation in this country. I find this extremely hard to accept. Even supposing that the weight of taxation is higher under this Government than under the previous Government, I make no apology for that. If we want what hon. Members opposite as well as on this side are constantly asking for—more schools, better hospitals, more roads and higher pensions—we must pay for these things and find the necessary taxation.
The right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone—
§ Sir Douglas Glover (Ormskirk)
But surely right hon. Gentlemen said in their election manifesto that all these things could be done without any increased taxation?
§ Mr. Crosland
We said in our manifesto—it will certainly be true—that once we have the economy out of the 226 considerable mess in which it was left, these things will certainly be done.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that we must constantly pursue excellence, not only in science and technology but in the Health Service, in education, in roads and all objects of social expenditure. There is no clear evidence that taxation is a crucial factor exaggerating the brain drain. One or two hon. Members mentioned that, at £18,500 a year, a person would be in a bracket which pays a marginal rate of tax of 96¼ per cent. or thereabouts, but the brain drain is not to be found at this salary level.
Even when we come down to the £4,000 a year level, the evidence is very inconclusive. This is not a factor mentioned by the bulk of those who emigrate when asked why they do. Considering the extent of the brain drain of other countries to the United States, there seems no clear relationship between that and their level of taxation.
The brain drain in this country first became serious when the Government of right hon. Gentlemen opposite—and the right hon. and learned Member for Wirral (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)—were busily engaged in reducing Surtax. This was the period when the brain drain began to be a serious factor.
Therefore, although nobody can be dogmatic about taxation, there is no evidence that it is crucial in this situation.
§ Mr. Crosland
I am sorry. I have not much time.
The right hon. and learned Gentleman, in his less serious closing passages, said that the brain drain was fundamentally due to the climate of opinion, to the fact that people were opting out of democratic Socialism, that they had no faith in Britain under a Labour Government. I am sure that a number of my hon. Friends will be pleased to hear how rapidly Socialism is being established in this country, for they do not always seem to take this view themselves.
I certainly agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman that the climate of opinion is an extremely important factor. I agree that people will get depressed when phrases are bandied about 227 of the sort that have been bandied about today, such as,… the increasingly neurotic and humourless Britain of which we are all unaccountably a part …".I agree that that has as depressing an effect on the national mood as,…a national neurosis of pessimism and self-denigration".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, House of Lords, 27th February, 1963; vol. 247, c. 87–89.]The only curious thing is that these phrases came from the right hon. and learned Gentleman in the House of Lords, when he was Lord Hailsham in 1963. So, if a depressed and miserable national mood has been created, it was created long before the present Government took office.
Just what the Opposition are doing to help us prevent or minimise the brain drain at the moment it is extremely hard to see. In any case, the greater part of the figures used by them in the debate show a more serious situation relating to the years when they were in power. As to their current attitude, the right hon. and learned Gentleman used the phrase disjecta membra, although I am not sure what they are. The only disjectum membrum I can think of at the moment is the right hon. Member for Wallasey (Mr. Marples). He certainly believes in technology and in modernisation and does not believe in staying at home. But look what a reward he has had from the Conservative Party.
§ Mr. Crosland
I am sorry. I only have two and a half minutes left. The last thing that the Opposition have done to help our discussions tonight is to put down this extraordinary Motion. I hope it was not the right hon. and learned Gentleman who drafted it, considering his usual literary style, for it calls on the Government… to encourage men and women of ability to remain at home …
§ The only men and women of ability who have been encouraged to stay at home so far have been hon. Members opposite during this debate on a Motion which was supposed to be a Motion of censure on the Government. I have never seen more empty benches than there have been throughout the whole of this debate.
But if one takes seriously this phrase,
… to encourage men and women of ability to remain at home …
does it really represent the philosophy of the great imperial party opposite? Do right hon. and hon. Members opposite really want to put a ring fence around us and keep our people at home and prevent the kind of emigration of which they have been so proud in the past, emigration which built up first the Empire and then the Commonwealth? In the light of all this history, is that the new philosophy of the Conservative Party—to keep men and women of ability at home?
§ Mr. Crosland
Does this mean that the Opposition are really commited to a philosophy of creating a ring fence around us; that they wish to stop the younger generation going to America, to Canada, to Europe? Is that really now the philosophy of the Conservative Party?
The brain drain is undoubtedly a problem and the Government take it most seriously. That is why, unlike our predecessors, we shall make a serious effort to find an answer. When we do so, it will not be in the negative, defeatist or house-bound spirit of the Motion but in a positive spirit of confidence in the future of Britain.
§ Question put:
§ The House divided: Ayes 233, Noes 314.233
|Division No. 268.]||AYES||[9.30 p.m.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Bossom, Sir Clive|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gos. & Fhm.)||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John|
|Astor, John||Berry, Hn. Anthony||Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward|
|Atkins, Humphrey (M't'n & M'd'n)||Biffen, John||Braine, Bernard|
|Awdry, Daniel||Biggs-Davison, John||Brewis, John|
|Balniel, Lord||Birch, Rt. Hn. Nigel||Brinton, Sir Tatton|
|Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Black, Sir Cyril||Bromley-Davenport, Lt. col. Sir Walter|
|Batsford, Brian||Blaker, Peter||Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)|
|Bell, Ronald||Body, Richard||Bruce-Gardyne, J.|
|Bryan, Paul||Hay, John||Onslow, Cranley|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Orr-Ewing, Sir Ian|
|Bullus, Sir Eric||Heath, Rt. Hn. Edward||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Burden, F. A.||Heseltine, Michael||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)|
|Campbell, Gordon||Higgins, Terence L.||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Carlisle, Mark||Hiley, Joseph||Page, John (Harrow, W.)|
|Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert||Hirst, Geoffrey||Pardoe, John|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Hobson, Rt. Hn. Sir John||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Hogg, Rt. Hn. Quintin||Peel, John|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hooson, Emlyn||Percival, Ian|
|Clark, Henry||Hordern, Peter||Peyton, John|
|Clegg, Walter||Hornby, Richard||Pike, Miss Mervyn|
|Cooke, Robert||Howell, David (Guildford)||Pink, R. Bonner|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Hunt, John||Pounder, Rafton|
|Cordle, John||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch|
|Corfield, F. V.||Iremonger, T. L.||Price, David (Eastleigh)|
|Costain, A. P.||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Prior, J. M. L.|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford (Spelthorne)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Quennell, Miss J. M.|
|Crawley, Aidan||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)||Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Sir Oliver||Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead)||Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter|
|Crouch, David||Johnston, Russell (Inverness)||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Crowder, F. P.||Jopling, Michael||Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith||Ridley, Hn. Nicholas|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Kaberry, Sir Donald||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kershaw, Anthony||Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey|
|Dance, James||Kimball, Marcus||Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)|
|Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.)||King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.)||Roots, William|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Kirk, Peter||Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)|
|Dean, Paul (Somerset, N.)||Kitson, Timothy||Russell, Sir Ronald|
|Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford)||Knight, Mrs. Jill||St. John-Stevas, Norman|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Lambton, Viscount||Sandys, Rt. Hn. D.|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Scott, Nicholas|
|Doughty, Charles||Langford-Holt, Sir John||Sharples, Richard|
|Drayson, G. B.||Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)|
|du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Sinclair, Sir George|
|Eden, Sir John||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'dfield)||Smith, John|
|Elliot, Capt, Walter (Carshalton)||Lloyd, lan (P'tsm'th, Langstone)||Stainton, Keith|
|Errington, Sir Eric||Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Selwyn (Wirral)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)|
|Eyre, Reginald||Longden, Gilbert||Stodart, Anthony|
|Farr, John||Loveys, W. H.||Stoddart-Scott, Col, Sir M. (Ripon)|
|Fisher, Nigel||Lubbock, Eric||Summers, Sir Spencer|
|Forrest, George||McAdden, Sir Stephen||Tapsell, Peter|
|Fortescue, Tim||MacArthur, Ian||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)|
|Foster, Sir John||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)|
|Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone)||McMaster, Stanley||Teeling, Sir William|
|Galbraith, Hn. T. G.||Macmillan, Maurice (Farnham)||Temple, John M.|
|Giles, Rear-Adm. Morgan||Maddan, Martin||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.)||Maginnis, John E.||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest||Tilney, John|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Marten, Neil||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Glyn, Sir Richard||Maude, Angus||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hn. Sir John|
|Goodhart, Philip||Mawby, Ray||Vickers, Dame Joan|
|Goodhew, Victor||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Gower, Raymond||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Walker, Peter (Worcester)|
|Grant, Anthony||Mills, Peter (Torrington)||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Grant-Ferris, R.||Mills, Stratton (Belfast, N.)||Wall, Patrick|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Miscampbell, Norman||Walters, Dennis|
|Grieve, Percy||Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St, Edmunds)||Monro, Hector||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||More, Jasper||Webster, David|
|Gurden, Harold||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Morrison, Charles (Devizes)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Wilts, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)|
|Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Murton, Oscar||Wood, Rt. Hn. Richard|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Nabarro, Sir Gerald||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)||Neave, Airey|
|Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere||Nicholls, Sir Harmar||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hastings, Stephen||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael||Mr. Francis Pym and|
|Hawkins, Paul||Nott, John||Mr. R. W. Elliott.|
|Abse, Leo||Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Booth, Albert|
|Albu, Austen||Barnett, Joel||Boston, Terence|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Baxter, William||Bottomley, Rt. Hn. Arthur|
|Alldritt, Walter||Bellenger, Rt. Hn. F. J.||Boyden, James|
|Allen, Scholefield||Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Braddock, Mrs. E. M.|
|Anderson, Donald||Bennett, James (G'gow, Bridgeton)||Bradley, Tom|
|Archer, Peter||Bidwell, Sydney||Bray, Dr. Jeremy|
|Armstrong, Ernest||Binns, John||Brooks, Edwin|
|Ashley, Jack||Bishop, E. S.||Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.|
|Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.)||Blackburn, F.||Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan)|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Blenkinsop, Arthur||Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W)|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Boardman, H.||Buchan, Norman|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Hooley, Frank||Morris, John (Aberavon)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Horner, John||Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick|
|Cant, R. B.||Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Murray, Albert|
|Carmichael, Neil||Howarth, Harry, (Wellingborough)||Neal, Harold|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Newens, Stan|
|Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)|
|Chapman, Donald||Howie, W.||Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn. Philip (Derby, S.)|
|Coe, Denis||Hoy, James||Oakes, Gordon|
|Coleman, Donald||Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey)||O'Malley, Brian|
|Concannon, J. D.||Hughes, Emrys (Ayrshire, S.)||Oram, Albert E.|
|Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Orbach, Maurice|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Hughes, Roy (Newport)||Orme, Stanley|
|Crawshaw, Richard||Hunter, Adam||Oswald, Thomas|
|Cronin, John||Hynd, John||Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, S'tn)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)||Owen, Will (Morpeth)|
|Grossman, Rt. Hn. Richard||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Padley, Walter|
|Dalyell, Tam||Jackson, Peter M. (High Peak)||Page, Derek (King's Lynn)|
|Davidson, Arthur (Accrington)||Janner, Sir Barnett||Paget, R. T.|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas||Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Jeger, George (Goole)||Park, Trevor|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)||parker, John (Dagenham)|
|Davies, Robert (Cambridge)||Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford)||Parkyn, Brian (Bedford)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Pavitt, Laurence|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)|
|Delargy, Hugh||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Dempsey, James||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham. S.)||Pentland, Norman|
|Dewar, Donald||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Perry, Ernest G. (Battersea, S.)|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||Judd, Frank||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Dickens, James||Kelley, Richard||Prentice, Rt. Hn. R. E.|
|Dobson, Ray||Kenyon, Clifford||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Doig, Peter||Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham)||Price, Thomas (Westhoughton)|
|Donnelly, Desmond||Kerr, Dr. David (W'worth, Central)||Price, William (Rugby)|
|Driberg, Tom||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Probert, Arthur|
|Dunn, James A.||Leadbitter, Ted||Randall, Harry|
|Dunnett, Jack||Ledger, Ron||Rankin, John|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick (Newton)||Redhead, Edward|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Lee, Rt. Hn. Jennie (Cannock)||Rees, Merlyn|
|Eadie, Alex||Lee, John (Reading)||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||Lestor, Miss Joan||Rhodes, Geoffrey|
|Ellis, John||Lever, Harold (Cheetham)||Richard, Ivor|
|English, Michael||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Ennals, David||Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Ensor, David||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)|
|Evans, Albert (Islington, S.W.)||Lipton, Marcus||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Lomas, Kenneth||Robinson, Rt. Hn. Kenneth (St. P'c'as)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Loughlin, Charles||Robinson, W. O. J. (Walth'stow, E.)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Luard, Evan||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Roebuck, Roy|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Rose, Paul|
|Floud, Bernard||McBride, Neil||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Foley, Maurice||McCann, John||Rowlands, E. (Cardiff, N.)|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||MacColl, James||Ryan, John|
|Ford, Ben||MacDermot, Niall||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Forrester, John||Macdonald, A. H.||Sheldon, Robert|
|Fowler, Gerry||McGuire, Michael||Shinwell, Rt. Hn. E.|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Shore, Peter (Stepney)|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mackie, John||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Gardner, Tony||Mackintosh, John P.||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Garrett, W. E.||Maclennan, Robert||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Ginsburg, David||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hn. P. C.||McNamara, J. Kevin||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Gourley, Harry||MacPherson, Malcolm||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.)||Slater, Joseph|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Mahon, Simon (Bootle)||Small, William|
|Gregory, Arnold||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Snow, Julian|
|Griffiths, David (Rother Valley)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)||Manuel, Archie||Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Mapp, Charles||Stewart, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Gunter, Rt. Hn. R. J.||Marquand, David||Stonehouse, John|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Marsh, Rt. Hn. Richard||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Mason, Roy||Swain, Thomas|
|Hamling, William||Mayhew, Christopher||Swingler, Stephen|
|Harper, Joseph||Mellish, Robert||Taverne, Dick|
|Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Mendelson, J. J.||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Hart, Mrs. Judith||Mikardo, Ian||Thomson, Rt. Hn. George|
|Haseldine, Norman||Millan, Bruce||Thornton, Ernest|
|Hattersley, Roy||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Tinn, James|
|Hazell, Bert||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)||Tomney, Frank|
|Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis||Molloy, William||Tuck, Raphael|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Moonman, Eric||Urwin, T. W.|
|Henig, Stanley||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Varley, Eric G.|
|Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Hilton, W. S.||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Wallace, George||Wigg, Rt. Hn. George||Winterbottom, R. E.|
|Watkins, David (Consett)||Wilkins, W. A.||Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.|
|Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)||Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick||Woof, Robert|
|Weitzman, David||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)||Wyatt, Woodrow|
|Wellbeloved, James||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)||Yates, Victor|
|Wells, William (Walsall, N.)||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Whitaker, Ben||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|White, Mrs. Eirene||Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)||Mr. Charles Grey and|
|Whitlock, William||Winnick, David||Mr. George Lawson.|