§ Mr. BROMLEY
asked the Minister of Health whether as the whole of the revenue obtained from dutiable articles is controlled by the Government Laboratory, and in view of its work on matters of public health, he will reconsider the present policy of reducing the already small qualified staff, 80 in number, by 30 per cent. and substituting untrained boys of approximately 19 years of age?
§ Mr. PETHICK-LAWRENCE
In accordance with the recommendations of the Carpenter Committee, it is proposed that the grade of temporary assistant chemist in the Government laboratory should be abolished, and that the work at present entrusted to chemists Class II and this grade should be gradually reallocated between a new grade of chemists and a new grade of assistants to be recruited between the ages of 17 and 20 from candidates who have reached an educational standard equivalent to the Intermediate Science Degree examination, or have gained the National Certificate in chemistry issued by the Institute of Chemistry in conjunction with the Board of Education. I see no reason to modify this policy. I am unable to accept either the implication in the question that members of either of the two new grades will be insufficiently qualified or my hon. Friend's description of the duties of the laboratory.