Alien Dentists.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 6th August 1942.

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Photo of Professor Archibald Hill Professor Archibald Hill , Cambridge University

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a number of foreign refugee dentists are at present unemployed; and whether in view of the shortage of man-power, he will cease to reserve further dental students from military service until these refugee dentists are absorbed, either in practice with temporary registration, or as students to obtain British qualifications?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

On this subject generally I would refer my hon. Friend to the Reply given by my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health to the hon. Member for the English Universities (Mr. Harvey) on 14th July. The suggested reduction in the quota of British dental students would not be practicable since quotas of dental students are fixed with a view to maintaining the future supply of British dentists, and it would not be proper to reduce them to make room for students who may not in the ordinary course be practising in this country after the war. If my hon. Friend is aware of any difficulty experienced by aliens in obtaining admission as students I should be glad to look into the matter if he will send me particulars.

Miss Rathbone:

Is the Minister aware that the excuses which have been given in previous replies for the refusal to admit students are really untenable, and that there is a very strong case for admitting aliens to work in the schools? Will he not go further into the matter?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I will certainly look into the matter. I must be careful, however, that in the employment of aliens I do not set up a national conflict between the students, so that the British students feel prejudiced because I am finding room for aliens. The policy I have followed is to try and get harmony and to welcome these alien students into the schools with good feeling.