§ 28. Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has had in the last two months on the question of nurses' salaries; and if he will indicate the terms of his reply.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. William Ross)
Representations have been received from the Scottish Board of the Royal College of Nursing, from four Members of Parliament and 1337 from five outside bodies. In replying, I have explained that, while the views expressed have been noted, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage when a pay claim is under consideration by the Nurses and Midwives Whitley Council, which is responsible for the negotiation of nurses' pay.
§ Mr. Hamilton
The House will be gratified to notice that the Government have referred to lower-paid workers and their exclusion from the terms of the White Paper on Prices and Incomes. In that context, will my right hon. Friend give a categorical assurance that the Government will not restrict the nurses to the 2½ per cent. wage freeze to which they were subjected under the previous Administration in the 1960s?
§ Mr. Gordon Campbell
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us about the timing of these negotiations, and when it is expected that a conclusion will be reached, as many people in Scotland are concerned that the pay and conditions of nurses may be falling behind those of other more vociferous groups?