National Health Service Employees (Pay)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1957.

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Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North 12:00 am, 17th December 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he proposes to review his decision to refuse the 3 per cent. award made to the administrative and clerical staff of the National Health Service.

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

My right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health and I have undertaken to reconsider this decision after an appropriate interval of time. We have fixed no date, and in deciding when to review we shall take into account the economic situation and any other relevant circumstances.

Photo of Miss Peggy Herbison Miss Peggy Herbison , Lanarkshire North

Is the Minister aware that, apart from the grave injustice of the previous decision, there is very great ill-feeling amongst these workers? If he may reconsider it, would he bear in mind the effect on the National Health Service of the ban on overtime by these workers? Is he aware that there are already signs that the ban is having grave effects, and that some nurses—poorly paid workers—had to wait for their salaries because of this ban?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

I am not aware that any ill effects have yet been felt by patients as a result of the ban on overtime. Obviously, when the time does come for review every consideration will be looked at.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Could the Secretary of State tell us what is the "appropriate interval of time"? Appropriate to what?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

I did not say an appropriate interval of time. I meant an appropriate time for consideration in the light of the general economic conditions of the country.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Translate it into English.

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South

Can the Minister really give the House no general idea as to when this revised consideration is to take place? Is it fair to leave the House in the air like this? Should he not give some consideration as to what period of time is likely to elapse?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

No, Sir. Quite clearly, the position has to be watched extremely closely, and it would be quite wrong to attempt to forecast the future at this moment.