The pay of Civil Service scientists is first of all a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Civil Service, although, of course, general issues of pay policy are involved. The Civil Service Department and the Institution of Professional Civil Servants are now giving urgent consideration to the action to be taken on the recommendations made in the Pay Board's report.
I should not like to agree with that proposition without first seeing the results of the discussions that are taking place, but I hope, with my hon. Friend, that the matter may be dealt with speedily.
Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that Government scientists have had a raw deal and that a settlement is urgently required as many of them are in serious financial difficulties?
The hon. Gentleman put the scientists' case to me, and he put it very well, as everyone will understand; but others, too, have put their cases to me. I listened to the case that was put, but I had to say that we should await the report. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that Government scientists have had a raw deal, but so have many other people.