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Therapists (Pay Award)

Oral Answers to Questions — Hospitals – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey 12:00 am, 16th December 1957

asked the Minister of Health when a decision will be made by him on the award made by the Whitley Council to therapists and other specialist staffs in the hospital service.

Mrs. Slater:

asked the Minister of Health if he has yet agreed to the award made to physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have today approved the Whitley agreements relating to psysiotherapists, occupational therapists, remedial gymnasts and speech therapists.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

Having said some hard things about the Minister, may I say how very glad we are that at last he has shown some common sense, at least in relation to one award? Will he backdate it to 1st October, which was when it was first agreed?

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

These awards are effective from 1st October, except, I think, in the case of the speech therapists, where the date is from 1st November. I think those are the right dates.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Does not the Minister realise that the fact that he is now assenting to an arbitration court award, where the two sides were in disagreement, accentuates and highlights his refusal to put into effect the previous agreement between the two sides? Does he not realise that as long as he goes on being as vague as he is at the moment about the date for implementing this award he will get no peace from this side of the House?

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

I do not think that the hon. Member is right; I think these are all agreed recommendations in respect of which I have given my answer today. As for my having peace from the other side of the House, I always welcome peace, but I could not buy it at the price of doing other than that which I thought was my duty in this matter. [Interruption.]

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Before the hon. Member for Yarmouth (Mr. Fell) says a word, I withdraw what I said.