HL Deb 10 March 1964 vol 256 cc319-20

2.35 p.m.


My Lords, with your Lordships' permission, I wish to make a short personal statement. In Hansard last Thursday there appeared a Written Question by the noble Baroness, Lady Horsbrugh [Col. 317.] It read as follows: To ask Her Majesty's Government Whether it is correct that as stated by Lord Taylor on January 22, 1964, there were 30 male applicants and 200 female applicants, properly qualified for each place in our medical schools in 1963. To this Question the noble Earl, Lord Bessborouc4h, replied: No. The noble Earl went on to give a calculation to support his contention. I am sure that this calculation is accurate, but it is irrelevant, for a reason which will appear in a moment. The noble Lady, no doubt inadvertently, omitted a qualification I made to the figures she quoted. I said: [OFFICIAL REPORT, VOL 254 (No. 26), col. 948.] There is some overlap: in the applications, that is— but the demand for places certainly enormously outruns the available number of places. The overlap arises because, owing to the pressure, young men and women now habitually apply to more than one medical school. It is for this reason that the noble Earl's calculation is irrelevant to my figures.

There is no official source for the figures I quoted. I have therefore made personal inquiries at six of the London medical schools, and I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the detailed results of these inquiries.* The totals are, however, as follows: 7,625 applications were received at the six medical schools from men, and 344 were admitted; 3,360 applications were received from women, and 90 were admitted. It follows that one man was admitted for every 22 applications received, and one woman was admitted for every 37 applications received.

These are the most accurate figures I can obtain, but I must again emphasise the point about applications to more than one medical school. I must apologise for having misled your Lordships in the earlier figures which I gave, and I should like to thank the noble Lady for having forced me to re-do my homework.

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