§ 5.2 p.m.
§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(Lord Newton.)
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ [The LORD MERTHYR in the Chair.]
§ Clause 1 agreed to.
§ Clause 2:
§ Functions of Council for the Training of Health Visitors
§ 2.—(1) The Council for the Training of Health Visitors—
BARONESS SUMMERSKILL moved to add to subsection (1):
( ) may make training grants or allowances to persons considered suitable for training".
§ The noble Baroness said: I beg to move the first Amendment standing in my name and that of my noble friends. 862 May I in the first place recall the Second Reading of the Bill and remind your Lordships—
§ LORD NEWTON
I wonder whether the noble Baroness would agree that it might be convenient to the Committee that with the Amendment she is now moving we should also discuss Amendments Nos. 5 and 6, which are also in her name?
§ BARONESS SUMMERSKILL
Yes, certainly. The same principle is involved I would remind your Lordships that the function of these workers, the health visitor and the social, worker, is such that if we amend this Bill and in so doing increase their numbers and facilitate their entry into this service, we shall indeed be reinforcing the whole National Health Service. Time after time at this Box in dealing with health matters I have emphasised the point that the most important part of the National Health Service to-day is possibly the domiciliary service. Perhaps that is an overstatement, but at least I would say it is a most important part, for this reason. We are an aging population. Among us are many people with chronic ailments. These people do not necessarily need the advice and frequent 863 visiting of a doctor, but they do need a comprehensive domiciliary service which contains skilled, well-trained, efficient men and women of integrity. If your Lordships agree with that proposition, then surely you will agree that health visitors and social workers form a most important part of this service, and we should do everything in our power to recruit more.
I should say that I would never presume to try to influence the policy of any professional body, indeed of any body of workers, unless they themselves had asked me to move Amendments in a Bill of this character. These Amendments which I have put on the Order Paper are there because the social workers and the health visitors themselves would like to see the Bill amended in this way. These people are of great importance, and if we are to relieve the pressure on our hospitals we must increase their numbers. The whole purpose of the Amendment is to ensure that there shall be a grant available immediately for the women—these people are mostly women—who offer their services. At the moment the position is that they would have to apply to the local authority. The local authority might be a niggardly authority. The local authority might not attach so much importance to this as we do here, or indeed as the community does, and therefore these grants would not be forthcoming.
I would remind your Lordships that paragraph 743 of the Younghusband Report, dealing with training and the provision of adequate grants, suggested that this is the whole crux of the Bill, and on this will depend how we shall be able to retain suitable candidates once they have made application. I have not to remind your Lordships, I think, to-day what a demand there is for young, energetic, idealistic women of integrity in all fields. If these recruits offer their services and a local authority delays making a decision then they will go elsewhere; they will be snapped up in the many other places to which they will be able to go, in many other jobs. Therefore, I attach the greatest importance to a central grant. I realise that the terms of the financial resolution are drawn in such a way that in this House I cannot amend it—I certainly cannot 864 increase it; and for constitutional reasons, of course, one cannot demand that an Exchequer grant should be forthcoming. It therefore precludes one from asking for a direct Exchequer grant. But of course, if your Lordships think that further finance should be forthcoming, the Council could make a grant, and this could be reimbursed from the Exchequer.
I am not asking for anything unusual because these grants are made for the probation service and for the child care service, and I would remind your Lordships who come from Scotland that in Scotland direct Exchequer grants are made for trainees. Indeed all I am asking for this afternoon is precisely what Scotland has had for many, many years. How else shall we establish uniformity in this country, if we do not recognise that this work if of such a value that the Exchequer should come into the picture? How can we ensure that a local authority will be sufficiently generous? I would ask your Lordships to consider your own area, and to ask yourselves whether you are sure that if a number of young women apply for a grant from your local authority for this work it would immediately be granted, or whether there would be some delay while the whole matter was being discussed, and whether, during that very important period, these young women would go elsewhere.
Page 2, line 20, at end insert the said paragraph.—(Baroness Summerskill.)
§ BARONESS ELLIOT OF HARWOOD
I rise to support the noble Baroness on these two Amendments which we are discussing. She has enormous experience of the health visiting service while my experience has been more in the social work service, and I am certain that she is entirely right in what she has just said. If we want to deal as speedily as possible with the shortage of these people, if we want to get the best people we can, if we want to make it possible for local authorities to undertake their responsibilities, which are continually increasing in the world of health visitors and social workers, then we have to regard this as an urgent matter.
There is another Amendment on the paper concerning another form of finance which we can also discuss. But 865 the present Amendment is far and away the quickest and most direct way of helping to get these young women—and men, too—to train for these services. It seems to me very strange that the Minister of Education (who is a very forceful person, and who has speedily got together a group of people in the Youth Service to be youth leaders, whose training he has organised directly under the Ministry of Education, for which work he has secured direct grants because it is urgent and important in the service of youth) should now be saying that in the case of the social worker—who is just as urgently needed as the youth leader—this very much slower method, of operating it through local authorities, is adequate.
I am chairman of our local education committee at home, and only yesterday I was being very much put through the mill by the finance committee because I was asking for more money for certain aspects of education. I am quite sure that it would be extremely difficult to get the local education authorities, particularly those in the less well-off areas, such as the one I represent, to put aside money for this purpose. It would take a long time before anyone who wanted money from the local authority actually got it. As the noble Baroness has said, there are so many claims for the type of person who would train to make a really good social worker that, if they cannot get into that side of the profession, they will go into another in which they can get direct grant and start right away. I therefore beg the Minister, and the noble Lord who is going to reply, to see whether it is not possible to introduce this system of direct grant for those urgently needed women and men to train for these two branches of this vital service.
§ LORD AMULREE
When this Bill was discussed on Second Reading I said that there was a great deal about this Bill I did not like; and, indeed, that is still the case. I do see, however, that if the Bill is going to be passed and become law, which it obviously is, it must be made to work. I would therefore support the Amendment proposed by the noble Baroness, because, unless some kind of provision is made to provide grants for training people, the Bill will not work and the workers will not come forward. There are various 866 measures which have already been passed, such as the Mental Health Act, which I feel will be in serious jeopardy if we do not get the personnel to work them. I think we must attract these young women, but, as the noble Baroness, Lady Elliot of Harwood, has said, the competition for their services is heavy. If we do not attract them they will not come forward and this Bill will become derelict or, what is worse, practically unworkable. Therefore, I support the Amendment.
If this Bill is going to work, I agree that something like the Amendment that has been pressed by the noble Lady ought to be added to it. In regard to the constitutional position, if I may say so, I do not think we need worry about it too much. I think we do our work a great deal better if we are not always casting our eyes over our shoulders at the House of Commons. Probably the noble Lady does not know (though I expect the noble Lord does) that since the Parliament Act, 1911, was passed we have amended the Finance Bill; we have passed financial resolutions; we have done everything that is guarded against under that Bill. What happens then is that when the Bill goes downstairs it goes through the machinery, and anything unconstitutional is cut out. But, as a matter of fact, if the Government want to get a financial Amendment into a Finance Bill it can quite easily be put in in this House, so long as one can be certain the House of Commons will accept it at the other end. If the noble Baroness will accept my advice—which I very much doubt—I would tell her to go ahead on financial matters quite freely, without worrying about the House of Commons. It will take care of itself.
§ BARONESS SUMMERSKILL
I never thought that I should come here and be turned into a revolutionary by the noble Lord opposite!
§ 5.17 p.m.
§ LORD NEWTON
I entirely agree with the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, that it is important that if this Bill is enacted it should then work; and I believe it will. I am also in entire agreement with both noble ladies who have spoken that it is important that suitable candidates for training as health visitors and social 867 workers should receive appropriate grants. But those of your Lordships who were present in this Chamber during the Second Reading debate, or who have read the Report of the proceedings in Hansard, will not be surprised when I tell your Lordships that I am unable to accept any of these three Amendments put down by the noble Baroness, for the reasons which I gave when replying to the Second Reading debate. I will rehearse them again, if I may.
First of all I will deal with the position of health visitors. I do not honestly think there is now any difficulty in this regard, or that there will be any difficulty in the future, because almost all health visitor students are either seconded or sponsored by local health authorities, and only a few receive the grant or local education authority award that is available to new recruits taking the new general training in social work. In other words, the vast majority of health visitor students either receive a salary from the local health authority while being trained, or receive a grant from the local health authority. The only difficulty now, as the noble Baroness knows, is the question of contracts of service. This question is being looked into, and my right honourable friend's Department is now about to seek the advice of interested bodies on what guidance he should give on this matter. I am quite sure that when this problem of contracts of service is straightened out there will be no real difficulty in the future about the method under which grants are made to the health visitor students.
On the general issue of principle, of whether or not a council should be in a position to make training grants, I would point out, first, that there is the objection that it would create a source of grants alongside that which already exists in the local education authorities, and would thus tempt local authorities not to face their responsibilities. It would probably result in the kind of unsatisfactory situation which exists now in the field of grants for almoner and psychiatric social work students. In this field, the Ministry of Health grant bursaries to students who have been unable to obtain a local education authority grant for the professional part of 868 their training, which follows the social science course. Here in this field experience has shown that some local authorities refuse no grants, precisely because the reserve power exists, while others refuse to give grants or give inadequate grants, on the ground that the present system penalises the more generous local authorities.
The reason for the existence of this reserve power in the case of almoner students and psychiatric social work students is that these students on their courses have generally already had a local education authority award for their social science studies which came first. Local education authorities have not always been willing to give grants for further training to students who have already had grants, in much the same way as local education authorities are sometimes unwilling to give grants to university students for more than one first degree course. But the point is that candidates for the new general training in social work will not normally have had a previous grant from a local education authority, and therefore this particular consideration will not apply in their case. As I told your Lordships in the Second Reading debate, there is, in the view of the Government, every prima facie reason why this form of further education should be treated in the same way as other branches of further education, and why local authorities should exercise their responsibility in respect of students on these courses and on other courses. That is the view of the Government.
If we were debating to-day the provision of training grants for, say, chemists or electrical engineers, and your Lordships said to me that their grants should be paid from some central source, although I might not agree with your Lordships I should see the argument—for this reason: that the local education authorities, or indeed the local authorities as a whole, who under the existing system provide grants for the students, might say to themselves: "We are not going to employ these people eventually, so of what particular interest are they to us?" But we are not debating grants for electrical engineers or chemists. At this moment, we are primarily debating grants for social workers who will be employed by the local authorities when 869 they have completed their training. So I should have thought there was every reason for saying that if the local education authorities are likely to be biased in favour of any particular type of students, it is precisely those whom we are discussing this afternoon.
I am convinced, and the Government are convinced, that the local authorities are alive to the need for developing the community care services with trained staff, and we believe it is right that the students should be financed in the way laid down in the Bill. Therefore, I would ask your Lordships—as I asked your Lordships on Second Reading—to remember that this position will be watched very closely, and that, if necessary, guidance will be given to local authorities by my right honourable friend the Minister of Education, who will be ready to help should any cases of difficulty arise. We should see how the scheme works, before trying to write into the Bill what really would be a case quite different from the normal ways in which students on further edu-
§ cation courses receive their grants. I hope, therefore, that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her Amendment.
§ BARONESS SUMMERSKILL
I am very sorry, but I am afraid that the noble Lord has not convinced me. This is not a complicated matter. Everybody knows that there is great pressure on the services of these young people, and that, as I have said, they can get jobs elsewhere. It is an entirely wrong policy at this stage, to say that we will wait and see. That is what the noble Lord has told the House. He has said: "We will see how it works out." We all know precisely how it will work out. They will wait; they will not be given this grant, and then we shall lose them. In view of the urgency of the matter, I must ask noble Lords to support the Amendment in the Division Lobby.
§ On Question, Whether the said Amendment shall be agreed to?
§ Their Lordships divided: Contents, 39; Not-Contents, 86.871
|Addison, V.||Feversham, E.||Rea, L.|
|Alexander of Hillsborough, V.||Geddes of Epsom, L.||Saltoun, L.|
|Amulree, L.||Greenhill, L.||Shackleton, L.|
|Archibald, L.||Henderson, L.||Shepherd, L. [Teller.]|
|Attlee, E.||Hughes, L.||Sinha, L.|
|Burton of Coventry, B.||Iddesleigh, E.||Stonham, L.|
|Carnock, L.||Kenswood, L.||Summerskill, B.|
|Chester, L. Bp.||Kilbracken, L.||Swanborough, B.|
|Chorley, L.||Latham, L.||Terrington, L.|
|Colwyn, L.||Lawson, L.||Walston, L.|
|Crook, L.||Lindgren, L.||Williams, L.|
|Darwen, L.||Lucan, E. [Teller.]||Williams of Barnburgh, L.|
|Elliot of Harwood, B.||Peddie, L.||Williamson, L.|
|Abinger, L.||Clitheroe, L.||Grenfell, L.|
|Ailwyn, L.||Colville of Culross, V.||Hailsham, V. (L. President.)|
|Aldington, L.||Conesford, L.||Harris, L.|
|Allerton, L.||Coutanche, L.||Hastings, L.|
|Amherst of Hackney, L.||Craigton, L.||Hawke, L.|
|Ampthill, L.||Crathorne, L.||Hereford, V.|
|Baillieu, L.||Davidson, V.||Home, E.|
|Balfour of Inchrye, L.||Denham, L.||Horsbrugh, B.|
|Barnby, L.||Devonshire, D.||Hylton, L.|
|Bathurst, E.||Dundee, E.||Ironside, L.|
|Beauchamp, E.||Dynevor, L.||Jellicoe, E.|
|Blackford, L.||Falmouth, V.||Kilmuir, V. (L. Chancellor.)|
|Bossom, L.||Ferrers, E.||Lloyd, L.|
|Boston, L.||Ferrier, L.||Long, V.|
|Brecon, L.||Foley, L.||Lothian, M.|
|Brentford, V.||Forester, L.||Luke, L.|
|Bridgeman, V.||Forster of Harraby, L.||Lyle of Westbourne, L.|
|Buccleuch and Queensberry, D.||Fortescue, E.||MacAndrew, L.|
|Buckinghamshire, E.||Fraser of North Cape, L.||McCorquodale of Newton, L.|
|Carrington, L.||Freyberg, L.||Mancroft, L.|
|Chesham, L.||Goschen, V.||Margesson, V.|
|Massereene and Ferrard, V.||Rathcavan, L.||Strathclyde, L.|
|Merrivale, L.||Reading, M.||Stuart of Findhorn, V.|
|Mills, L.||St. Aldwyn, E. [Teller.]||Swinton, E.|
|Milverton, L.||St. Oswald, L. [Teller.]||Teynham, L.|
|Montgomery of Alamein, V.||Salter, L.||Tweedsmuir, L.|
|Mount Edgcumbe, E.||Sinclair of Cleeve, L.||Waldegrave, E.|
|Mowbray and Stourton, L.||Soulbury, V.||Waleran, L.|
|Newton, L.||Spens, L.|
On Question, Motion agreed to.
§ Clause 2 agreed to.
§ Clause 3:
§ Functions of Council for Training in Social Work
§ 3.—(1) The Council for Training in Social Work—
- (a) shall promote training in such social work as is required in the health and welfare services by seeking to secure suitable facilities for training persons in such work, by approving courses as suitable to be attended by persons engaged or intending to engage in such work and by seeking to attract persons to such courses;
- (b) if it appears to them that adequate provision is not being made for further training in such work, shall provide or secure the provision of courses for this purpose;
- (c) may conduct or make arrangements for the conduct of examinations in connection with such courses as are mentioned in the preceding paragraphs; and
§ 5.37 p.m.
BARONESS SWANBOROUGH moved, in subsection (1) (a), after "persons", where that word first occurs, to insert:
(including persons already engaged in and having considerable experience of the said services)".
§ The noble Baroness said: In moving the first Amendment standing in the names of the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, and myself, I am very anxious to put before your Lordships a point which I think is very important indeed. It is an inclusion which would allow an individual, be it man or woman, who has worked systematically for a laid-down number of years in social service, whether in a paid or in a voluntary capacity, to sit as a late entrant for a test and to qualify alongside the person who starts his or her career by working for a diploma. I feel this should be an arrangement available at all times, and not a temporary arrangement just to accommodate those people who are working in social services at the present time and are already holding welfare posts. As we examine the training that 872 we want for people qualifying for social service posts, it seems to me that the training is in fact the offering to the student of the wealth of experience agglomerated by the teacher, and it is this experience that I am very anxious to see safeguarded.
§ I believe that the scheme for training as envisaged in the Bill is excellent, and I hope very much that more and more people will qualify and will be available to the country in order to serve in this manner. But there are problems which arise, and which I think we should look at ahead of time. One of the problems which arise in countries where a programme of social work training is very prevalent is that again and again, through lack of foresight, people who have experience are not allowed to work at the same level as those social workers who have a paper qualification, and the experienced volunteer is therefore lost in the effort which he might be able to make.
§ If my Amendment were agreed to, it would provide for people who had done a specific number of years in the work and had been trained by doing the work—who, indeed, in many cases, have evolved the system of working as it is to-day, since so many of our social services have started through the efforts of either experimental agencies or voluntary services. If we could agree that these people should be recognised, after test, alongside those who have not had as much practical experience, the qualification of the academic and the qualification of the experienced side by side will result in a large number of social workers of a high standard being available to the country. The trained social worker and the experienced volunteer working constantly side by side have each got a great deal to offer the other; and I should like to see this collaboration well preserved.
§ But even to-day voluntary work is not generally recognised as a qualification for the training and for the posts which are available. I should like to quote the 873 case of a girl who applied for a grant from a local authority for a social science diploma course, for which she had been accepted. One of the local authority conditions was that the applicant must have done social work for one year. This girl had done three months of her year as a full-time voluntary residential worker in a children's home run by one of the recognised voluntary societies. The local authority refused the grant because she had done three months in a voluntary, and not in a paid, capacity. These are the sort of anomalies that I feel we ought to watch ahead of time, rather than get into the difficulty which may come through our being unaware of them.
§ In another case, a member of my own Service who has had years of experience of administration—actually, I think, seventeen years—in a very responsible welfare job, applied for a post as an assistant home help organiser. She was told that if she got the job the starting salary would be £520, and found that another applicant in her early twenties would start at £950 because she had passed a local authority examination. The anomaly that arises through this sort of thing could be cleared up by an early envisagement of a late-entrants scheme, and I hope vary much that your Lordships will consider this.
§ I am not in this case arguing because of payment, but because of output. The person who is going to be looked after does not require merely a clinical diagnosis by a person who has had academic education; the particular person is in distress, and in nine times out of ten in extreme trouble, and therefore needs to have, in addition to the knowledge and the know-how of the social worker, understanding, compassion and sympathy, and also the authority of a human being who, through experience, has graduated in the field of life to reach a standard of understanding, as well as a poise in dealing with such matters.
§ The noble Lord, Lord Stonham, and I have put forward this Amendment because of the experience we have both had, not only with voluntary workers but with those at the receiving end of the work of various social service workers. In this connection, I feel that it is of paramount importance that those who 874 have the extra qualification of experience should not, because they have not at the start of their working life undertaken the academic qualification, be precluded from taking part in the direction of such a service, as long as they can show—and I emphasise this particularly—that they have attained the requisite standard.
§ The persons at the receiving end—the mother of a family, the ageing man, the not-so-young—find themselves for the first time faced with a serious dilemma. They are not members of a body, professional or otherwise, which is organised and which can present their case. They are not in any way banded together so that they can approach a spokesman to put their views. It is on their behalf that I plead. I ask your Lordships to consider my Amendment because of the many social workers, paid and unpaid, who could, if this Amendment were considered, be admitted to the hierarchy envisaged by this Bill in order that the services to the consumer may be of the best possible order. I beg to move.
Page 2, line 31, after ("persons") insert ("(including persons already engaged in and having considerable experience of the said services)").—(Baroness Swanborough.)
§ 5.45 p.m.
THE LORD BISHOP OF CHESTER
Before I speak to this Amendment, may I, on behalf of the Bench on which I sit, convey to the noble Lords opposite our delight at having seen Lord Attlee back again in this House.
THE LORD BISHOP OF CHESTER
We have watched his courageous fight for recovery with great sympathy, and we hope that he will have many years to enjoy the health that he has recovered.
I support this Amendment, because I believe it stands for something very important in the whole spirit of this measure and of the system which is being set up. Obviously, its success will depend, in the main, upon the highly-trained and qualified worker, who will be, so to speak, the foundation of all the work that is being done. Of that there is no question whatsoever. But there is also a very large pool of available experience which ought to be brought 875 into this system but which will be largely denied the opportunity if it is expected that those people should do a full two years' course. There are many people who have had experience of personal relationships in a wide variety of work and who may later on wish to come into this specific type of work, but for whom it would be unreasonable that they should be expected to do a full two-year course. Therefore, I hope that this Amendment will be carried in order to make those people available for this important work.
I know that there may be misgivings among some that this may lead to a dilution of the efficiency of the service, or indeed that it will give entrance to those well-meaning "do-gooders" who have nothing other than their good intentions to offer. But I do not see that this is a real danger to the system; and, indeed, in a comparable case which I would put before your Lordships, it has not proved to be so. The Church of England has had a very long experience in selecting and training mainly women in the work of moral welfare, and what used to be called the Board of Moral Welfare is now called the Council for Social Work. Great care is taken in the selection and training of full-time workers. Some do a three-year degree course; others go to Josephine Butler House in Liverpool for a two-year course, and they are doing splendid work in this particular department. But that Council has also found that it can make very great use of women who have had wide experience in comparable services, simply by giving them a specific short-time training whereby they can come into this particular work; and so those who are trained in the nursing services, those who have been trained as teachers, those who have worked in the Y.W.C.A., and so on, can all come in, and with a six months' course can become efficient and useful at an age when it would be totally unreasonable for them to have to undergo a two-year course.
Moreover, in much of this work it is surely going to be very valuable to have people who have in their own experience been able to run a successful home and know what that means; and, with the general trend of social custom, with earlier marriages, and with women at 876 the age of, say, 40 having completed their family responsibilities, there should be a great opening for those people who, as a result of a shortened training course, could bring so much to bear. So I hope that this Amendment will be carried, both because it will make available a large and important source of recruitment, and also for something else which it is so difficult adequately to express without giving misunderstanding. In all these things, surely in this country in particular we have a genius for combining the professional and the true and best amateur, and each reacts on the other to the benefit of both. In this service we shall want the true professional who brings all the expertise of his or her training, but we want to avoid what is known as professionalism, with the deleterious effect which that can so often have, especially in the realm of personal relationships. Again, we want the true amateur, with the dedication, the love, the care, while avoiding at the same time the dangers of amateurishness. I believe that if this Amendment, which has been moved so lucidly by the noble Barnoness, is carried, we shall bring back into the system something which is particularly of value in this country—both the fully-trained professional and the trained amateur—to the benefit of the whole system.
I support the noble Baroness wholeheartedly in her Amendment, but since what I should like to say about it, and other points, ranges rather widely, I will, with your Lordships' permission, say what I want to say on the Motion that the clause stand part.
§ LORD NEWTON
Under Clause 3 (1) (a) of the Bill, the Council for Training in Social Work are to promote training by seeking to secure suitable facilities for training persons in social work in the health and welfare services. The persons for whom training facilities are to be sought are not specified, but the noble Lady and the right reverend Prelate may be assured that it is the Government's intention—and it was clearly the intention of the Young-husband recommendations—that the Council shall, in fact, seek to secure facilities for training the kind of persons they have in mind, altogether irrespective of their age.
877 I am advised that, in the context of Clause 3 as it is at present drafted, the duty laid upon the Council in subsection (1) (a) to approve courses as suitable for persons engaged in such work makes it unnecessary for any words to be added in line 31 to give the clause the desired effect. Subsection (5) makes it clear that the duty of seeking to secure training facilities and provide courses applies as much to those engaged in similar services provided by voluntary organisations as it does to those engaged in the local authority services. We fully recognise that a comprehensive social service is made up of many elements, in which people with different experience, Whether statutory or voluntary, have important parts to play, and we cannot envisage a time when the contribution of the worker without formal qualifications, particularly in the voluntary field, will not be required. There is nothing to preclude the Council from promoting training facilities for those without formal qualifications who wish to secure some training at a later stage than the normal. We expect that training facilities will be available for suitable workers in voluntary organisations with the appropriate experience, in the same way as for local authority staff and new recruits, so that the Amendment, which the noble Baroness, Lady Swanborough, and the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, have put down, adds nothing to what is already in the Bill. On the other hand, under the Bill as it now stands it will be possible to do What they and the right reverend Prelate want. Therefore, I hope that the noble Lady will withdraw her Amendment.
§ 5.55 p.m.
§ LORD STONHAM
I do not know what view my noble friend will take of the reply that the Minister has given to the Amendment which we have jointly sponsored, but I find his answer both disappointing and unsatisfying. The noble Lord said that it was the Government's intention that the Council shall seek to secure training for people of all ages such as we have in mind. That is a comforting assurance, but it is by no means a reason why these words should not be added to the Bill. They would make our intention—and presumably the Government's intention—very plain indeed.
878 I do not think that the noble Lord has given sufficient consideration to the kind of circumstances which will arise unless special attention is drawn to this very point. No doubt he himself has experience as a member of a selection board or appointments committee and will know that often a committee have to work within certain limits, one of which is the nature of the qualifications of the applicant. Although members of the committee may be well aware of the great value of experience in social work, it may not be possible for them to make an appointment of a person without suitable academic qualifications. There may be the still greater difficulty, which my noble friend pointed out, of differences in salary, from a possible £500 a year offered to an experienced person to £920 offered to an inexperienced girl merely because she had satisfied a local authority examination. I should be the last person to scoff at training and qualifications, and I do not do so now. Obviously, it is desirable that everyone should be qualified. But anyone who has any experience in social work knows that the most vital qualities are those inherent in the person and the experience gathered in actual case work. These are irreplaceable. It may well be that in matters of this kind the £920-a-year girl of 20 may be an absolute "clot" (if I may use that expression) and may still be appointed because the selection committee could not do anything else about it. These are cogent reasons.
I do not think that the Government have given serious consideration to the great need for workers of this kind. At the present time, we have one health visitor for every 9,000 of the population; and of the health visitors—wonderful women, noble women—95 out of every 100 are the type of dedicated spinster, women who are fast disappearing in this country and who are almost irreplaceable. Women are getting married very much younger. They are not being brought up in the same tradition of service as those who are now occupying posts in the Health Service and similar services. The staffs we have will be ever more difficult to replace, unless we are absolutely determined to avail ourselves of every opportunity to secure the services of persons of experience with the necessary qualities—indeed, with the 879 necessary dedication. There is nothing new about suggesting that an unqualified person should be recognised as able to do qualified work. When the Dental Register was set up, a large number of dentists who had never passed an exmination were admitted to the register, and some of them are still practising, in the National Health Service and in private work, on terms of equality with their brethren who are qualified by having passed the most important examinations. And there are other precedents of this kind.
I submit that there is a clear case for the Government accepting this Amendment, so that when town clerks, medical officers of health and others who have a part in making appointments of this kind, pick up this Act and read the instructions, they will see clearly delineated the intentions of Parliament. I think the feeling and intentions of the Committee in the matter are perfectly clear, and they call for the inclusion of these words and the acceptance of the Amendment. I hope the noble Lord will have another look at it, because I do not think his answer was satisfactory.
§ LORD FERRIER
In the circumstances, I would urge the noble Lady and the noble Lord to withdraw this Amendment, for the reason that, if it were to be tested at this moment, certainly from this side there are hidden reserves in dead ground which would settle the matter, and there the matter would end.
§ LORD STONHAM
Did the noble Lord say that there were hidden reserves in dead ground, or dead reserves in hidden ground?
§ LORD FERRIER
I said hidden reserves in dead ground. The noble Lord, Lord Saltoun, has said that he will speak on the matter later. I do not propose to say more; in fact, there is little more to be added to what has been said by the right reverend Prelate and the noble Lady, who have established in my mind, and no doubt in the minds of other noble Lords, that this is a suitable Amendment for the Government to consider carefully. I urge that the Amendment should be withdrawn now, in order that it might not be destroyed, and so that we may have the opportunity of debating it again at a later stage.
§ LORD NEWTON
I want to reply to the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, because I do not think there is really anything between us in what we want to achieve. I am afraid it must have been my fault, in that I did not explain the Government's position sufficiently clearly to the noble Lord. What I intended to say quite clearly, and reasonably shortly, was that the intentions of the Government are those of the noble Lady and the noble Lord who put down this Amendment. I have to speak to the Amendment as it is on the Marshalled List, and not to the words which the noble Lord utters when he addresses the Committee. I am advised—and I assure the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, that I went into this most carefully—that these words in the Amendment add nothing to what is already in the Bill. In other words, as the Bill is drafted, it will be possible for the Training Council to do precisely what those who put down the Amendment want. The noble Lord says: why do I then not accept the Amendment? It is for this very good reason, which I think is known well to Parliamentarians: it is never wise to insert unnecessary words in a Bill, because there is always the risk of the effect that this could, by implication, have on other parts of the Bill, and in other parts of the Statute. I should have thought that I had given the noble Lady everything she wants by telling her that it is unnecessary to add anything more to achieve the purpose she has in mind.
§ BARONESS SWANBOROUGH
I am no Parliamentarian, but I would join issue with the noble Lord who talked about one of the greatest resources of the Restaurant Committee as a dead place, in saying that the hidden reserves of the Government were in a dead place. I thought the noble Lord who answered for the Government gave me a full assurance that my points were covered and, being no Parliamentarian, I not only accept what he said, but I also accept it in what I take to be the spirit in which the assurance was given. I feel strongly that the undertaking in this Ball is definitely one of good will and readiness to work one with the other, but I felt it necessary to put down the Amendment because of the tragedies I have seen in other countries, and the fact that unless one looks at this situation ahead 881 of time one might be precluded from having a late entrant accepted. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ BARONESS SWANBOROUGH moved, in subsection (1) (b), after "courses" to insert: "including, in appropriate cases, shortened courses". The noble Baroness said: In moving this Amendment I have in mind the same group of people who have had years of experience in social work and particularly in a voluntary capacity. The experienced voluntary worker of to-day has of necessity a wide knowledge of the social services, not only as they exist on paper, but also as they operate to help people in their locality. He or she as a voluntary worker knows only too well the snags, the problems and the overlappings, where to turn for the many different kinds of help, and, in addition, knows a great deal about the series of courses available to fit one to do the job. Such courses are nearly always dealt with by the organisation or the body to which the volunteer belongs. In order to train herself to translate this knowledge, acquired in various and often in hard ways, she needs to be, so to speak, "topped up" to stand up to an examination or to have a more national outlook. I feel that it would be very desirable for a short course to be available, so that such a person could qualify through attendance at a short course and be able to be graded according to test. I apologise for moving this Amendment now, because I think the noble Lord who is to reply for the Government has already answered the question in what he said previously, but not being good at procedure, I felt that I must move the Amendment. I beg to move.
Page 2, line 37, after ("courses") insert the said words.—(Baroness Swanborough.)
§ LORD NEWTON
The Council's duty under Clause 3 (1) (b), to provide or secure the provision of courses and further training services if it appears to them that adequate provision is not being made, does not prevent them from providing shortened courses. Indeed, under the Bill as it is at present drafted, the Council are free to permit shortened courses leading to their certificate, since 882 the length of course is not specified. Your Lordships may recall that the Younghusband Report makes various recommendations for courses for older officers with various lengths of experience other than the two-year full-time training which is the main pattern of training recommended for new recruits, and the Council will no doubt have these recommendations in mind in considering what sort of facilities they will provide. Once again I am in the position of being able to assure the noble Lady that her Amendment is not necessary to achieve her purpose, and, being a charitable man, my pleasure is not dimmed by the mortifying recollection that, during the Second Reading debate, she indicated that I would be incapable of doing social work without first being given the full two-year treatment.
§ LORD STONHAM
Without having any desire to give the noble Lord the full treatment, I hope he will not say on this occasion that the inclusion of the words of the Amendment in the Bill would add nothing to the Bill, because they would at least make it clear that there is the intention that there should be shortened courses. I would agree with the noble Lord that in Clause 3 (1) (b) there is nothing to prevent the Council from providing shortened courses; if they have to provide adequate training courses for the persons concerned, then they can be long or short. But there is a great difference between nothing to prevent them doing a thing and an instruction that they shall do it. Although it may well be that they will provide courses of varying length and varying content, I really cannot see that there is any reason at all why this Amendment should not be accepted, because it does help to make the intentions that much clearer. I should be grateful if the noble Lord would deal with that point.
§ LORD NEWTON
I am afraid that I cannot even agree about that. I am advised that it would not make it any clearer, and that the necessary powers for the Council which the noble Lord and the noble Lady want are there. For the same reasons which I gave when we were discussing the earlier Amendment, I would advise your Lordships that it is never a wise thing to insert unnecessary words into a Bill. I feel certain that those lawyers who are 883 present will agree with me about that. I hope that once again the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw this Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 6.11 p.m.
§ On Question, Whether Clause 3 shall stand part of the Bill?
I shall trespass on your Lordships' time for only a brief moment. It is a long time since I had anything to do with this work, and if I am behind the times I hope your Lordships will forgive me. These clauses seem to me to set up a cumbrous machine, and probably a very expensive machine, to provide for the social services. I am inclined to agree with what the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, said on the Second Reading, that there are probably not enough people available to provide a sufficient number to carry out these services properly. I think the noble Lord, Lord Stonham, was very much of that opinion, and said that we are going to be very short of people to do this work. My own personal opinion is that people have to do both sides and fulfil both tasks. After all, that has been done in the past quite successfully, and, I think, without an enormous degree of preliminary training. I think it is desirable that that should be done, so far as possible, because your Lordships' experience will tell you that it is much easier for one visitor to obtain the confidence of a family than it is for more than one. It seems to me that the confidence of the patient is a very important matter.
This Bill sets up machinery for the education of people who undertake this work, and, of course, that includes registration. There must be a register of some kind of people who obtain these qualifications. It seems to me that the Government are a little premature in this, at least according to the ideas of the past. The Report from the Select Committee appointed in 1935 to consider the registration and regulation under the Osteopaths Bill laid down what was then the time-honoured rule in these matters. They said: 884In all comparable cases of vocations for which a statutory register has been authorised, three conditions have been fulfilled, viz.:—I freely give Her Majesty's Government, the second of those, but, after all, the sphere or territory is what ills the flesh is heir to. I do not call that a definition. A definition must define, and there is no definition and no limit to the tasks which the social services have to undertake. As a definition, I submit to noble Lords opposite, who are considering carefully and perhaps a little anxiously their relationship with the noble Earl, Lord Russell, that it resembles far more those definitions that he propounds to us in speech and tantalises us with in some of his later books. I do not think that there is in existence a well-established and efficient system of voluntary examination and registration. Therefore, the Government are breaking entirely new ground in this matter, and it behoves us to consider it very carefully.
- (i) The sphere or territory within which the vocation operates has been clearly defined.
- (ii) The vocation has already been long in general use.
- (iii) There has been already in existence a well-established and efficient system of voluntary examination and registration."
Some time ago now, I remember the welfare officers asking me whether I did not think they should have, as it were, a chartered society, with examinations and degrees, or a register. I replied that I thought that was quite unnecessary. I thought the first thing their young people should do was to learn absolutely thoroughly the law of the Welfare State. That would give them the tools of their trade; and after that the thing they could get was experience, experience and more and more experience. That certainly was my experience when I was doing that kind of work. I think it is an extremely important thing, and it seems to me that in this Bill no account has been taken of the extraordinary value of long experience. For that reason, I do not view this Bill with great enthusiasm, although I hope that it will work a great deal better than I feel it may.
§ LORD NEWTON
My noble friend has ranged fairly widely, as he told me he was going to do. We have listened to his views with interest. I hope that his fears will not be realised, and that the 885 Bill will work out better than he seems to think. He spoke about the association which exists between the work of health visitors and social workers. That is certainly the case, and it is recognised in the Younghusband Report, and in the Bill.
§ Clause 3, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 4 agreed to.
§ 6.17 p.m.
§ LORD AMULREE moved, after Clause 4, to insert the following new clause:
§ Pooling arrangements in respect of expenditure on social work training
". As soon as may be after the passing of this Act the Minister shall make regulations in pursuance of paragraph 1 of Part IV of the First Schedule to the Local Government Act, 1958, to establish pooling arrangements in respect of expenditure by local health authorities on grants for training in social work, and accordingly the said paragraph 1 shall be amended by the addition at the end of sub-paragraph (4) thereof of the following:—
'(f) in the training of persons in social work',"
§ The noble Lord said: The purpose of the new clause which I propose to insert is to make it possible to extend the pooling arrangements which already exist to include social work training for both health and welfare services. Supposing this were to occur, I am sure it would immediately transform the whole prospect for the recruitment, for the grants to students, and for the setting up of courses about which we have been talking. The plan would not cost the Government any money, but it would at the same time stimulate the laggard local authorities and not discourage the keen ones. I think the scheme before us now is one which would appeal only to the most progressive and the most wealthy local authorities. They are probably the people who would do the job in any event. But it would not encourage the poorer ones, or the less interested ones.
§ At the present time, the local authority pays the cost of each student's training, even though that student may move on and go on somewhere else. The pooling scheme works well for the health visitors, for the training of probation officers and for child care. It has been said that health visitors get seconded by the local authority, but I do not think they do. I 886 think many of them are sponsored to the local authority, which is not quite the same thing, and do not get employed by the local authority until their training has been completed. That again is why it seems anomalous that the health visitors will be trained under some kind of pooling arrangement, whereas the social workers, with a closely linked and parallel council, do not get training. Where I think that is a bad thing from another point of view is that it has always been my hope—indeed, as I said on Second Reading—that the two councils might one day be joined together. If they are to be treated in a different way, it will make that desirable project much further away Chan it is now, which is one of the reasons why I put down this Amendment. So far as I am aware, the local authorities would have no objection at all to the pooling arrangements, and therefore I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name.
After Clause 4, insert the said new clause.—(Lord Amulree.)
§ 6.20 p.m.
THE EARL OF FEVERSHAM
I strongly support the Amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Amulree. It is quite clear from the reply that was given by my right honourable friend the Minister of Health in another place, and by the noble Lord, Lord Newton, in his reply on behalf of the Government in the Second Reading debate in this House, that it was very unlikely that the Amendment moved by the noble Baroness, Lady Summerskill, with regard to the necessity of central grants would receive any consideration. But I see no reason why this Amendment suggested by the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, should not have the very careful consideration of Her Majesty's Government at this stage of the Bill. As the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, has pointed out, it does not infringe any commitment to which my right honourable friend has aligned himself in connection with this Bill. Nor does it evoke antagonism to the principle of restriction of Government expenditure from the centre, because finance would be provided by local authorities by placing a requisite amount into a pool.
The noble Lord, Lord Newton, might well claim that in his reply to the noble 887 Baroness, Lady Summerskill, he has in the main answered the points arising out of this Amendment proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Amulree. I do not think that is the case. I have listened with very great attention to the reply which the noble Lord gave to the noble Baroness, Lady Summerskill, and so far as I can see the only new statement that emerged was that in the case of the category of social worker with whom we are now dealing they would not previously have applied to the local education authority for a grant, whereas the psychiatric social workers and other categories, such as probation officers, might have done so by taking a social science course. I do not think that that, on the face of it, is a complete answer.
In the first place, this is a new service and it is clear that local education authorities, in the sequence of arguments enunciated by the noble Lord, are already committed to pay great sums of money under the further education grants to existing or old-established services. The question is: are the local education authorities likely, under the present procedure of a block grant, to increase the level of further education grants for new services? Quite clearly in rich and more progressive local authorities we shall see great advances; and doubtless numbers of persons wishing to obtain training will receive it. But I doubt whether that will be the case in the poorer areas, or in the areas of the more unenlightened local authorities. It came to my notice that, as in York, a social worker applied to his health and welfare committee to take a course. This was denied him. The only way that he was enabled to take the course was to resign from his occupation under the local authority and, having resigned, then apply to the further education committee.
The noble Baroness, Lady Elliot of Harwood, said in the Second Reading debate that the Younghusband Committee Report emphasised that a total of 5,700 persons were required for this category of social worker under this Bill. There are approximately 3,000 persons employed now, leaving a deficiency of well over 2,000. There can be no doubt whatever that unless the Government show greater sympathy for the point that 888 we have insistently raised throughout all stages of this Bill—that is, that some pooling arrangement or central grant should be provided—the provisions of the Mental Health Act as regards community care will be virtually a dead letter.
It is all very well for the noble Lord, Lord Newton, with the best possible intentions, to inform your Lordships' House that we shall see how this provision of the grant under further education will operate. But I am not speaking on behalf of a limited specialised pressure group emanating from one particular organisation or society; I am speaking as a layman concerned for thirty years with the whole range of social work, having been engaged in this kind of activity long before the concept or the implementation of the idea of a Welfare State. The need for some pooling or central grant is universally recognised, both centrally and locally, by the people in the field who have to do the work.
We have not heard from my right honourable friend the Minister of Health, or from the noble Lord, Lord Newton, any statement to show your Lordships why the Department they represent have come to the conclusion that the claim we make is an irresponsible one. From what source does the noble Lord, Lord Newton, obtain his information in support of his claim that social workers engaged in health and welfare departments, or who are required to be recruited in those departments, will, in fact, get the degree of training that is required under the provisions now contained in the Bill? Is it from the representatives of local authorities, both on municipal and county level, that that information has been provided? Is it from those who are responsible for administering the Acts from the centre? I claim that, without any question whatsoever, the number of people who are required, first, to be recruited for training and, second, to be engaged in the service at the present time, will not materialise unless this system of pooling is very carefully gone into. Therefore, I would appeal at this late stage to the noble Lord, Lord Newton, not to give the official reply but to say that he will inquire again into this question and perhaps report at a later stage to your 889 Lordships' House upon the Amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Amulree.
§ BARONESS ELLIOT OF HARWOOD
I cannot resist supporting both the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, and the noble Earl, Lord Feversham, on this particular matter of financing the students. I supported the noble Baroness in the hope that we might get something in the way of a direct grant. Obviously that is not going to happen. Now we are offering, under this Amendment, a different method, and one which, as Lord Feversham has pointed out, meets a great many of the criticisms put forward by the Government on the direct grant plan. This pooling system has been in the Home Office now for a considerable number of years; I do not know how many years, but a long time. It works very well. It works on the training of probation officers; it works on the training of child care officers. It is acceptable to local authorities; it is acceptable to the central authority. If something works very well in one category of training, why should it not work in another, which, although it is different in the sense that people are being employed for different types of social work, is in fact in many ways identical because we are dealing with the identical people coming into the profession.
It has been said here—I think the noble Lord, Lord Newton, said it in reply to the noble Baroness, Lady Summerskill—that local authorities would be quite adequate in this, and he also instanced that local authorities would be the employing bodies and so on. That is perfectly true; local authorities would be the employing bodies. But the fact is that in the smaller local authorities, where the need is great but not as pressing as it is in the great areas where the populations are so very large, there might be quite a number of very suitable candidates who would like to be trained, who would be good in the profession, but who would not be supported by their local authorities because the local authority might say, "We cannot employ you. We want only three or four and we already have three or four, and we cannot therefore offer you a job".
Most local education authorities will give grants for further education, teaching, whatever it may be, only if the 890 trainee guarantees to give some work in the county when he or she has finished training. It is therefore necessary to satisfy that particular aspect of grant giving, if it is to be through a local education authority before they allow the person to go and take training. That is very limiting indeed, especially when we want, as the noble Earl, Lord Feversham, reminded us, at least 2,000 new people in this field. I wish we could persuade the Minister to have a second look and see whether or not it is not possible to use the method the Home Secretary uses which is so very successful and which meets the criticisms which are levelled against the central grants system.
I do not think we can hope to get the personnel required for the responsibilities that are being put on the local authorities unless we can make a real recruiting drive. The noble Earl, Lord Feversham, has reminded us that the Mental Health Act, the latest of the responsibilities being put on local authorities, is only now coming into effect, and we are only now beginning to see what our responsibilities as members of local authorities are going to be. I can promise your Lordships that there are very few local authorities in the country who, faced with these added responsibilities, can undertake them in what I would consider any adequate manner because they simply have not got the personnel; it just is not there. I would hope that the Minister would really consider this. After all, this new Mental Health Act, which was an immensely important Bill which he himself put through the House in another place and which we have had through this House, is something of tremendous importance, and we are not going to be able to handle it from the local authority angle unless we can get more people.
There is one other point I should like to make to the Minister in connection with this question of getting grants through local authorities. The difficulty is that you have to satisfy a great many interests, a great many committees; you have to time your application so that it comes in at the moment at which these various committees meet to pass these grants forward, and local authorities do not meet every week; some committees do not meet every month; some meet every two months. It must 891 all be synchronised with the question of when the university training courses are beginning, at what time they may join in—it is immensely complicated—whereas, if you had the control of selection and finance in your own hands through a central department it would be very much easier to meet the demands when they came from the trainees and the demands from local authorities throughout the country. I would beg the Minister to consider this plan. He does not like a central grants system, but this pooling plan, which is a plan which works so extremely well in the Home Office, might be applied in this department to this type of trainee so urgently needed to-day.
§ 6.35 p.m.
§ LORD NEWTON
My two noble friends have taken the opportunity, which I do not believe the mover of the Amendment, the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, intended should be taken, of having yet another debate on the merits of having grants paid from some central source or by the local education authorities. My two noble friends have once again demonstrated their lack of confidence that the local authorities will do their duty and live up to their responsibilities. We have debated this question this afternoon. We debated it on Second Reading. I explained why I believe that the local authorities will discharge their responsibilities, and I really do not think there is anything more about that which I can usefully add to-night.
§ LORD AMULREE
I am bound to say that what the noble Lord has said is not very encouraging, and, indeed, is rather disappointing. I think while quite a number of local authorities will do their duty, and do it extremely well, there are always some bad local authorities. One found it a long time ago, when one was working with local authorities; where permissive powers were given, they were used by some but not by others. In the same way, I think that in this matter, if it is not made simple for the not very progressive local authorities to get money, the training will not be done. I think we have got to make this Bill work; we have got to get these people.
THE EARL OF FEVERSHAM
Before my noble friend continues, perhaps I might be permitted to dissociate myself from the general observation he made, that I am a party to demonstrating a lack of confidence in the acumen and sense of obligation of local authorities. That is not the case. I would, however, make clear that in almost every branch of social service, apart from the one under discussion, the grant or pooling arrangement is available, and therefore this provision that does not give it is a disincentive to many local authorities. All the noble Baroness, Lady Elliot of Harwood, and I are asking is that the Government should not give a disincentive to local authorities, but an incentive that has been given under other Acts and adopted by other Government Departments over a number of years.
§ LORD NEWTON
I am very grateful to my noble friend for giving the assurance that his object is not to demonstrate lack of confidence in local authorities. I am bound to say that the purport of the speeches he has made so far did make me feel that might be the case, and I am glad to know that I was wrong. If I may turn to the actual Amendment which the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, has moved, it refers only to the expenditure of local health authorities, but of course the expenditure of welfare authorities is equally relevant. In the view of the Government, in neither instance is there a sufficient case for pooling arrangements. I will try to explain the reason for that view. Although employing local health authorities incur substantial expenditure in sponsoring nurses for health visitor training, local authorities will not incur the same order of expenditure on seconding staff for social work training.
As I explained while we were debating an earlier Amendment this afternoon, the normal mode of entry to the health visiting profession is for the qualified nurse-midwife to be sponsored or seconded by a local health authority for the further training needed for the health visitor certificate. The expense which thus falls on employing authorities is pooled. Some 500 health visitors are trained under such arrangements each year, and the Jameson Working Party 893 recommended that this rate of recruitment should be doubled. This represents a continuing burden on employing authorities.
In the case of social workers, on the other hand, the Younghusband recommendation is that some 500 people should be recruited annually, and this will consist, in the large part, of people who with the assistance of a local education authority grant have already completed their general training in social work. Although authorities will no doubt continue to second for this training people who are already in their employment—for example, welfare assistants—the continuing burden which this represents will not be at all comparable with the corresponding burden in the health visitor field. In the case of social workers the financial burden will fall, in the main, on the local education authority as part of its expenditure on further education grants, as the Bill provides. As for the training of existing staffs—that is to say, the training of those already being employed as social workers—the Younghusband Working Party envisaged that only 250 serving officers would need to be seconded from their existing employment for full-time training, and that most of these would be seconded for only one year. The financial burden on employing authorities which this represents, spread over a period of ten years, as is envisaged, would not in the view of the Government justify elaborate pooling machinery.
There is just one further point that I should like to make. Some local health authorities, in addition to meeting the cost of individual health visitor students, themselves run training courses for them. In so far as these are run at a loss, it would be unfair for the local health authority concerned to shoulder the whole cost. It is not, however, contemplated that local health and welfare authorities will run courses, apart from in-service training, for social workers. The courses will be run by the local education authority as part of their normal further education activities. Those are the reasons why the Government do not feel that the provisions of the noble Lord's Amendment are justified, and I hope that he will be satisfied and feel able to withdraw.
§ LORD AMULREE
I cannot say for one moment that I feel satisfied, but I certainly do not propose to take this Amendment to a Division. Before I sit down, I should like to thank the noble Baroness and the noble Earl for the support they gave me, and at the same time to express my great disappointment that the Government have not been able (to give me a better answer. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clauses 5 to 7 agreed to.
§ First Schedule:
§ CONSTITUTION, ETC., OF COUNCILS
§ 2. The Privy Council shall appoint one person to be chairman of both Councils.
3. The other members of the Council for the Training of Health Visitors shall be appointed as follows:
(a) fourteen by the Health Ministers;
§ 8. The members mentioned in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 4 of this Schedule shall be appointed after consultation with such universities and other bodies concerned with the training of social workers as the Health Ministers and the Minister of Education think fit.
§ 6.44 p.m.
BARONESS SUMMERSKILL had given Notice of several Amendments relating to the constitution of the Councils, the first being, in paragraph 2, to omit "one person to be chairman of both Councils" and to substitute:
the Chairman of each Council and may appoint the same person to be Chairman of both Councils.
The noble Baroness said: I beg to move the Amendment which stands in my name and that of my noble friends. On the first Amendment I said that the views I expressed reflected the attitude of the social workers and the health visitors towards this Bill, and I must confess that having listened to this debate I have been forcefully struck by the dedication, the self-effacement and the modesty of the women who have been responsible, indirectly, for wording the Amendments that have come before us. I think your Lordships will agree when I explain this Amendment to you, that it is, in the Parliamentary world, the supreme example of a modest approach to a Bill. In fact, I have never before moved anything which in my view should be
accepted immediately by the Government out of gratitude to these magnificent women.
§ Line 10 of the First Schedule provides for one person to be appointed by the Privy Council to act as chairman of both Councils. I understand that it has been suggested that that person should be Sir John Wolfenden. On the Second Reading of this Bill I said that Sir John Wolfenden must be the most overworked chairman of this decade. I personally have nothing to say against him, and I understand that the nurses have accepted the proposal. I would remind your Lordships that these two important Councils will be concerned with an increasing amount of work. Surely it might be desirable, in the years to come, to have two Chairmen of these Councils, so that, if necessary, the Councils' work can be conducted simultaneously. That seems to me to be a quite modest request. At the same time, it is thought that if this Amendment were accepted those who are responsible for choosing the Chairman might be able years hence if necessary, to change their mind and to have two Chairmen instead of one. The Amendment therefore suggests that for "shall" we substitute "may". That is all these women are asking for: that in the years to come they might change their minds and have two Chairmen instead of one.
§ To me this Schedule is an anachronism. I must not say how I feel about it. I want to put gently the views of these excellent women. I am glad that the noble Lord is smiling sympathetically. If I had moved an Amendment of my own I might have moved to delete this part of this Schedule altogether. I realise that in this Committee I am speaking to noble Lords who have taken a personal interest in this work. The two Councils which are being set up will be composed, in the great majority, of women. In fact, the health visitors of this country are almost wholly women. Yet they are prepared to accept a man as their Chairman. I recall that 30 years ago, when I started in politics, I was co-opted onto an urban district council (in those days women were never elected to an urban district council) for the purpose of serving on the maternity and child welfare committee. I recall that 896 in those days women were rarely elected, and so the Government of the day felt that if women were to voice their views on maternity they would have to be appointed, because their chance of being elected was nil. I remember that, as a young woman, I went to my first meeting of the maternity and child welfare committee and found in the chair a man of 80. I think this was a remarkable thing. But that was many years ago.
§ Here, in this Bill, these fine, dedicated, self-effacing women are prepared, in 1962, to accept one Chairman of both Councils; and in this Amendment they are humbly coming to you to ask if you will change "shall" to "may", so that perhaps in the future they might have two Chairmen—and dare I whisper, in case I shock some noble Lords, that perhaps the Chairmen might be women? But they have not even asked for that. They have not even said, "Perhaps your Lordships will allow a woman, in the years to come, perhaps in the 70s, to preside over the health visitors of this country." They have not gone so far as that. They have asked for this simple method, and surely the noble Lord who represents the Government is not going to rise and say that he does not see his way to accept this simple Amendment—that is the least he can possibly do. Surely simple courtesy, compassion, respect for these wonderful people will cause him to say: "Well, we at least will accept this." I ask the noble Lord, if he has been briefed to say "No," to get up boldly and say, "I will not obey my masters this time. I will take it back and think about it."
Page 5, line 9, leave out from ("appoint") to end of line 10 and insert the said new words.—(Baroness Summerskill.)
§ LORD AMULREE
I would just briefly say a word on this Amendment, though I do not want to follow the noble Baroness in the talk she gave on the male and female members. I should like to support the Amendment because I think it might, in time, be necessary or convenient for the Council to have a separate chairman, and, supposing that was not possible because of this Bill, it would need amending legislation to bring it in, which might be embarrasing for the Minister in charge. On the other hand, supposing the Amendment proposed is 897 accepted, there is no reason at all why the Minister should not continue to appoint a single Chairman; but, if he wished to make a change, he could. Therefore, from a purely practical point of view, I believe there is a lot to be said for this Amendment, and I should like to support the noble Baroness.
§ LORD NEWTON
I hoped that the noble Lord, Lord Amulree, when he got up to speak, was going to support what is in the Bill already, in view of what he said during the Second Reading debate: that in his view, far from there being two Councils with one or two chairmen, there ought to be one Council for both health visitors and social workers. You could not then have two chairmen for one Council. Apparently the noble Lord has changed his mind.
§ LORD AMULREE
I have not changed my mind. What I said was that there should only be one Council, and therefore only one chairman. If you are going to have two Councils, for heaven's sake have two chairmen.
§ LORD NEWTON
That is going as far as you can on an association between the two sets of workers. With all respect to the noble Lord, it represents a very substantial change of position. The noble Baroness is always at her most beguiling when speaking on feminist subjects.
§ LORD NEWTON
That is the noble Baroness's way of putting the same thing, Which I have defined in a slightly different manner. It is very beguiling and very charming and, as a mere man, it puts me in a rather embarrassing position. I should not dream of expressing an opinion about the extent of the sacrifice women make when they find themselves, shall I say, under masculine authority. Perhaps I might just say that I have known women who rather like being bossed by men. Perhaps they are not women known to the noble Baroness.
This is really a question of achieving the right relationship between these two Councils. There are two extreme views: one, that there should be two completely 898 separate Councils, and the other that there should be one Council for both groups of workers. The solution propounded by the Government in this Bill represents a position half way between those two. We believe, as did the Younghusband Report, that there is, and must be, association not only between the workers concerned but between the Councils. I should like to read to you a few sentences from the Younghusband Report on this subject. I quote from paragraph 126, on page 27:The functions of health visitors in providing health education and social advice inevitably bring them into contact with a variety of social problems. Similarly social workers are frequently concerned with families where there is a health problem. These two field workers, each trained in different professional disciplines, should complement each other, and should each know enough about the other's field to recognise the point at which referral is indicated. There is a necessary overlap of knowledge between health visitors and social workers. An overlap of function may also occur when social workers are either not available or are not adequately trained.Well, those are very strong arguments for there being association between the Councils, which is accepted by the Government. The Government further believe that the arguments for the association of the Councils are arguments which have permanent validity, not just validity at the moment when the Councils are about to be set up, and that the best guarantor of permanent validity is a single Chairman.
Health visitors and social workers both do their jobs largely in people's homes; both work on their own, in co-operation with others, in an environment which is personal to the individual they are helping. These conditions of work will continue to prevail. Health visitors and social workers have complementary duties, and will prepare cases for one another according to the nature of the help required. This close working relationship will continue. It is therefore surely right that their training should be co-ordinated. Moreover, there are common elements in the two kinds of training, and this will continue to be the case.
The Government regard the association of the Councils as settled policy and, as I have said, a single chairman is the main guarantor of this. To leave the matter open—which is what the noble Baroness is asking me to do in her 899 Amendment—would, in my view and in the view of the Government, lead to argument and conflicting pressures, not all of them perhaps as beguiling as the noble Baroness has been this afternoon: but pressures would be there which would not be in the interests of the sound development of the work of the Councils, or in the interests of the workers themselves. The training of social workers on this scale and on these lines is new, and we want it to start on the basis of a right relationship, and to continue so; we do not want it to start properly and then to fall apart.
My right honourable friend the Minister said on this matter in another place [OFFICIAL REPORT, Commons, Vol. 659 (No. 106), col. 155]:I admit that this is a matter of judgment and balance, but it seemed to me, and I respectfully advise the House, that on balance there is greater advantage in spelling out in the Bill that these two Councils are to have a common chairman.It is the same advice as I am respectfully giving to your Lordships this evening.
Perhaps I could just add in conclusion that although Sir John Wolfenden is to be the first Chairman of the two Councils if the Bill is enacted and when they are set up, I see no reason why at some time or another there should not be a woman as chairman of both Councils.
§ LORD STONHAM
T think the noble Lord, Lord Newton, has made very heavy weather of this and has not dealt with the point at all. There are in fact two points. The Bill says that the Privy Council "shall appoint one person to be chairman of both Councils," and my noble friend's Amendment suggests that the Privy Council shall appoint the chairman "of each Council and may appoint the same person to be chairman of both Councils." So we are on this quite narrow point, but it is an important point in the view of the people mainly concerned. We want to leave the way open, without the need for further legislation, for two different persons to be the chairman of these two Councils if later it should be found advisable. The noble Lord put it the wrong way round. He said that if we were to lay it down didactically now, that would prevent pressures in the future. I should have thought that was entirely wrong. 900 Leave the matter fluid in that one single sense now, and if pressures arise—and they will not arise without reason—then they can be accommodated by the appointment of two separate chairmen.
The noble Lord's other point was that there must be co-ordination, which of course is quite right. The work of health visitors and social service workers is so closely related that there must be this co-ordination. But as I see it, there are going to be two large Councils. The only co-ordinating factor is the single chairman of both Councils. I do not know how the details will finally be worked out, but I think it is highly probable that these two Councils will meet in the same building and, inevitably, they will work closely together whether they have one chairman or two.
Hard by Paddington station in Eastbourne Terrace is a very large building, which no doubt has a frequent visitor, and it has four floors. Each floor accommodates the headquarters of a Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board, and it is very necessary for those four Hospital Boards to correlate their work, but they all have separate Chairmen, separate regional committees and, indeed, separate officers, and no difficulty arises in that regard at all. In fact, as my noble friend suggested, this is an extremely modest Amendment, characteristic of the people who have put it forward. The noble Lord has not really introduced one sound reason at all why it should be refused, except one which may seem to him to be overriding, and that is that his right honourable friend has made up his mind that he will not give way. But in my submission that is not a sound reason at all, and I still hope that we shall have another look at it.
§ THE EARL OF IDDESLEIGH
May I point out an argument for some degree of elasticity in this matter, afforded by subsection (3) of Clause 3, which reads:Her Majesty may by Order in Council make provision for conferring on the Council for Training in Social Work such functions in relation to other social work as are conferred on it by subsections (1) and (2) of this section in relation to the social work therein mentioned; and, in connection therewith, for making such modifications in the constitution of that Council, as she may deem expedient.I understand that in that subsection we are envisaging a great and expanding 901 future for the Council for Training in Social Work. Further matters may be made to come within its purview; it is expected that it will develop into a more and more important Council, and therefore Her Majesty's Government are very properly taking power to modify the constitution of that Council.
Is it not evident that, if this Council does becomes a greater and more important body, it will immediately be affected by this Bill; the chairmanship may very possibly become a whole-time job, and you may lose the services of a really suitable chairman, because he will say, "I am afraid I have not time to take on the health visitors. I should have been happy to take on the social workers"? By insisting that he shall have this dual function we may be depriving ourselves of the possibility of employing a first-rate man. In view of the fluidity of the work of the Council for Training in Social Work, I beg Her Majesty's Government to reconsider the matter, and to see Whether it is really sensible to tie for all time the hands of future Ministers of Health.
§ LORD NEWTON
I do not really think there is very much more that I can say about this. The noble Baroness told us, when moving the Amendment, that she was putting it forward on behalf of one of the interested parties, which she is perfectly entitled to do. What the Government have to do, as I understand it, is to consider the points of view of all interested parties on matters of this kind—and, indeed, on any matter—and then make up their mind What they believe to be right in the general interest. That is what has been done with this Bill, after considering the representations of all who are interested. It is a matter of judgment, as I said when I was concluding my last speech, and now it is for the judgment of your Lordships.
§ BARONESS SUMMERSKILL
I find the noble Lord's explanation, or half-apology, most unsatisfactory, but I have no intention of pressing the matter. Therefore, I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ BARONESS SUMMERSKILL moved, in paragraph 3 (a), to leave out "fourteen" and insert "sixteen". The noble Baroness said: I think most noble Lords 902 who have spoken will agree that this Amendment does concern a legitimate grievance. The purpose of it is to ensure that health visitors have adequate representation on the Council. I would remind the noble Lord of the Bill dealing with professions supplementary to medicine, which I think was amended later on in the Report stage, because the women concerned, as well as some men, felt that they did not have adequate representation on the bodies which had been set up. Here, again, these excellent women—and I do not really like the expression "interested parties" which the noble Lord has used; it almost suggests that they had some ulterior motive—who are going to serve the community in this field, should quite rightly have adequate representation on these bodies. I shall explain to your Lordship just what the representation is but, in the first place, I would say that it is now weighted in such a manner that it does not fulfil the undertaking which the Minister gave in another place, as the noble Lord will recall, that a slight majority would be given to the health visitors representative of the professional and educational interests. The noble Lord will recall that was recommended in the Jameson Report in paragraph 374.
§ I should not be doing my duty if I did not put on record what these figures are, and I am hoping that in this case the noble Lord will consider this again, in order that he might move an Amendment on the Report stage. He will agree with me that if this grievance is perpetuated it will mean inevitably, with the long discussions that will take place on these various Councils, that there will be a waste of time and there will be some fruitless argument, because the women there feel that they are not adequately represented. As the Bill stands there will be a Council of 32 members, of whom fourteen are to be appointed by the Health Ministers, and six by the Health Ministers and the Minister of Education. The remainder of the Council consists of representatives of local authorities and one appointed by the Governor of Northern Ireland. Of the Health Minister's appointments, thirteen are to be appointed as follows: after consultation with associations appearing to represent health visitors, eight; after consultations with the 903 B.M.A. and the Society of Medical Officers of Health, three; after consultation with the General Nursing Councils for England and Wales and for Scotland, two, making thirteen in all.
§ BARONESS SUMMERSKILL
It is thirteen. The noble Lord cannot count. It is not sixteen. This leaves one of the Minister's appointments unidentified, to be allocated as he likes; and that makes fourteen. Surely, professional representation should be by the representatives of health visitors, which number only eight—the first eight I gave the Minister. With the six educational representatives referred to, the total becomes fourteen.
The noble Lord will recall that in another place the Parliamentary Secretary replied to a question on this subject, and in the Parliamentary Secretary's calculations she achieved what she described as "a slight majority" by including the General Nursing Council representatives and the unidentified seat. Now the General Nursing Council does not represent the specific health visitor, and the representatives of the General Nursing Council are concerned only with the nurse-training content of the integrated courses. The General Nursing Councils are not concerned with the specific health visitor training. Those of your Lordships who have served on various organisations will agree with me that often there are representatives of other bodies, but when it comes to voting only the people who are concerned with a matter which is of interest to their own body are certain to vote one way: they can never be sure that they will have the support of representatives of the other body. The same will happen, of course, in this assembly.
I agree that, to a lay person, the name of the General Nursing Council sounds as if it is representative of the nursing world. One might say also that the General Medical Council is representative of the doctors: but, of course, the general practitioner and the specialist would reject that immediately. The General Medical Council, as so many noble Lords know here, is concerned with discipline and with all kinds of matters quite removed from the work of 904 the doctor. It is precisely the same way in the world of nursing. These health visitors do not feel that the General Nursing Council represents their attitude, or will necessarily support them on some matter which is concerned with health visitor training. That is why they have asked for this whole matter to be reconsidered. While the present Minister of Health may say that his intention is to fill the unidentified seat with a representative of the health visiting profession, I doubt whether he can commit his successors; and in any case, of course, if the noble Lord counts these figures up he will see that they need two more places for professional and educational interests to achieve even parity with the other representatives.
Now I ask the Minister to consider this, because it is a serious grievance. Again I would remind him that if these Councils start off this work without the important people, the health visitors, feeling they have proper representation, inevitably there will be a waste of time; and it is quite wrong at this stage, if one sees that a grievance can be removed, not to remove it. I beg to move.
Page 5, line 13, leave out ("fourteen") and insert ("sixteen").—(Baroness Summerskill.)
§ LORD NEWTON
The Amendment which the noble Lady has just moved is, in fact, a paving Amendment to the next one, and in her speech she was principally concerned with the next Amendment. Therefore, if I may, I will discuss them both together. I can assure the Committee that very great care has been given to trying to strike the right balance of representation, not only on this Council but on the other one as well. It has not been at all easy, because there are parties—the noble Baroness does not like the word "party", but it is a perfectly harmless word—who are naturally interested in matters of this kind. It is perfectly right and proper that they should be. They all have their points of view, and the Government have to try to strike what they believe to be the right balance. I have to tell your Lordships to-night that, in the view of the Government, there is no justification for an increase in the health visitor representation for which the noble Lady is asking.
905 The Jameson Report recommended a slight majority of numbers covering professional and educational interests, and that is what the Bill provides. The total of professional and educational interests represented is sixteen, which is why I used the figure sixteen when the noble Lady was speaking. That, of course, includes the two members of the Council appointed after consultation with the General Nursing Councils. The noble Baroness did not seem to think it appropriate to include the General Nursing Councils among the professional and educational interests, but the General Nursing Councils are educational bodies, and they have an interest which is very near to the health visiting profession. So the position is that, as recommended by the Jameson Report, the professional and educational interests will have a slight majority on the Council even if neither of the remaining two members—that is to say, the member appointed by the Governor of Northern Ireland and the member appointed without consultation—belongs to the professional and educational group. So we have in fact provided in this Bill what the Jameson Report recommended, and I hope that the Committee will think that that is the correct thing to have done.
§ BARONESS SUMMERSKILL
Again I must record that I think the Minister's reply is most unsatisfactory and will be received by those who are closely concerned with the administration of this Bill, which will become an Act of Parliament very soon, with certain despondency, because this is the moment when we could have changed and altered it in such a way as to make it acceptable to them all. However, at this late hour I will not press it. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 7.18 p.m.
THE EARL OF FEVERSHAM moved, in paragraph 8, after "consultation with" to insert:
the Joint University Council for Social and Public Administration and
§ The noble Earl said: This is a comparatively small but none the less very important Amendment. It was moved in exactly the same terms in another place but was rejected, although the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry 906 of Health gave an assurance that the Joint University Council would be consulted under paragraph 8 of the First Schedule. The purpose of my moving the Amendment now is to get the assurance embodied into the Bill. I am not at all impressed with the reply given on behalf of Her Majesty's Government in another place: that it is inappropriate to single out the Joint University Council alone on the face of the Bill because the Government intend to consult and cover all educational interests. If your Lordships will turn to paragraph 10 of the First Schedule, you will see that it is specifically mentioned there that the British Medical Association and the Society of Medical Officers of Health should be consulted. Why not the Joint University Council in paragraph 8? Anyone who has read, as many of your Lordships have done, the full Report of the Younghusband Committee will have seen that the evidence given by the Joint University Council provided (in my opinion, at least) for the main concept: the creation of a training council for social workers. Their experience and knowledge is admitted on all sides to be of the highest standard. There is every reason why they should be specifically mentioned in the Bill.
§ It would seem to me that if the noble Lord, Lord Newton, rejects this Amendment, he is giving undue deference to the wishes of the Parliamentary draftsman. Before the last war, when I served for at least seven years on the Bench which he is now occupying, I often had occasion to use words that he has himself employed during the course of this debate: that it is never wise to insert unnecessary words in the Bill. We have the assurance under paragraph 8 that the Government will consult the Joint University Council; but the Joint University Council and others wish this to be specifically mentioned. It is not analogous to the case to which the noble Lord referred. I do not think that these words are unnecessary, and I very greatly hope, this being the last Amendment to this Bill, that for the first time the noble Lord will find it appropriate to accept it.
§ I am not very accustomed nowadays, as I used to be, to taking part in the Committee stage of Bills in your Lordships' House. I have had great experience of similar work in the past, and in 907 those days it was quite customary, with a Bill of this character, for one or two Amendments—not major, substantial, Amendments—to be accepted by the Government. I cannot understand whether it is his right honourable friend the Minister who gives an edict that in no circumstances will any Amendment be accepted, or what are the causes which enable the noble Lord, Lord Newton, to ride, with great politeness, but with a certain roughshod element, across the path of noble Lords and Ladies, who I think are well qualified to speak on the subjects which have engaged us this afternoon. Therefore, I do ask the noble Lord, Lord Newton, to accept this Amendment, which I beg to move.
Page 6, line 14, after ("with") insert ("the Joint University Council for Social and Public Administration and").—(The Earl of Feversham.)
§ BARONESS ELLIOT OF HARWOOD
I should like to add one word on this matter, because I feel very strongly about it. This is a training Bill; it is a Bill which sets standards for training in social work. This is a Bill in which we are hoping to gat the very highest professional standards, comparable to the standards which obtain in many other professions—teaching, nursing, and so forth; and the universities are the people who set those standards. They are the people with the experience and with the trainers, and they are the people who can really bring these standards into effect. To leave them out, and to say simply that they will be consulted, is, to me, an insult to the most important body concerned in this particular work.
I entirely agree with Lord Feversham that the Minister seems to be impervious even to the great blandishments of the noble Baroness opposite, which I am unable to emulate to the same extent. But, because one feels tremendously strongly about this matter, and because the noble Lord may not even be prepared to accept the Amendment or to say that he will consider any of these points, it seems to me an exceedingly depressing state of affairs. I cannot imagine that in any other Council for the training of a particular profession, whether it is the medical profession, or whatever profess- 908 sion it is—the university medical schools, for instance—they would be omitted. I cannot imagine that one would try to organise training for a particular profession of any kind without bringing in the most important people who are responsible for that training. Here, in this long list of people on the Councils, we have all the employers of these social workers in large numbers. We have a great many other people, to whom Lady Summerskill referred, in connection with her most modest plea, and I thought that these Schedules might be altered. Yet there is no sign of any movement on the part of the Government (towards taking into account any of our efforts to improve these Schedules.
I think that to omit the Joint University Council on this occasion is most unwise. I am sure that it would greatly improve and help the Councils themselves if they were assured of representation from this most important body, which is responsible for advising on the training of practically all these people whom we are hoping to got into the service.
§ 7.26 p.m.
§ LORD NEWTON
I find the blandishments of both my noble friends very appealing, but I am afraid, even so, that I am not able to accept this Amendment, although, of course, it would have been very agreeable for me to be able to accept one, at any rate, during the course of our proceedings this afternoon. But I would assure my noble friend Lord Feversham that the reason I cannot accept the Amendment has nothing whatever to do on this occasion with drafting considerations.
The Joint University Council for Social and Public Administration provides a most valuable forum for the exchange of views of university social science and public administration departments, and it is in these departments that a body of knowledge on social work has grown. Because of this, Ministers will certainly consult the Joint University Council, as my noble friend knows already, before making their appointments to represent the educational interests.
We also recognise that, partly as a result of the work done in these departments, and partly as a result of the efforts 909 of trained social workers in many spheres, social workers have become increasingly aware of themselves as belonging to a profession with a unified body of knowledge, recognised standards of professional skill, and an ethos of its own. We fully appreciate that, if it were not for this, the development of this new two-year training proposed in the Younghusband Report would be an idle dream. We welcome the manifestations of this growing professional awareness, and we have such bodies as the Joint Training Council for Social Work, which was set up in October, 1959, and the National Institute for Social Work Training, which was set up two years later, in October of last year, both of whom we propose, incidentally, to consult in many appointments; and, indeed, the Council for Training in Social Work, which this Bill will set up, will carry social work further along this path.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that those organisations which have been working towards this end should be named in the Bill. The Government do not think that the rôole of any single body in the social work field is established in such a way as to warrant singling it out for special mention in the Bill. It would also be objectionable to pick out a particular university body and give it representation separate from that of the universities generally who are specified in the Bill. So they are the reasons why I am unable to accept this Amendment. But my noble friend—
§ LORD NEWTON
My noble friend has exactly what he wants. He has been told by me to-night, as was said in another place before, that this body will, in fact, be consulted. I imagine that if it is not consulted, he and others would soon want to know the reason why. I thought that the assurance which I have given him was a pretty good one.
THE EARL OF FEVERSHAM
Perhaps I may be permitted to ask the noble Lord, as he did not want to mention in 910 the Bill any single organisation or body because it might prejudice other bodies not mentioned in the Bill, why, in paragraph 10, there is a mention of the Society of Medical Officers, which on the question of training social workers has not in the past been a particularly qualified body to give an opinion? Why are they specifically mentioned?
§ LORD NEWTON
I suppose it would be perfectly reasonable to argue that they should not have been put into the Bill.
§ 7.30 p.m.
§ LORD STONHAM
I hope that the noble Baroness and the noble Earl, Lord Feversham, will not think that our silence on this side in any way indicates a lack of support for the Amendment. We regarded it as a strategic silence, in the hope that the pure and unsullied stream of oratory and wisdom which came from them would have its effect. We are extremely sorry that that has not been the case. We are quite unconvinced by the arguments of the Minister, if only for the fact that, if these words had been written into the Bill, it would have been in an Act of Parliament and would not have relied on the assurances of a Minister of a Government whose life is of uncertain duration. Therefore, I assure the noble Earl that whatever course he wishes to take about this Amendment, we will support it.
§ LORD NEWTON
I would ask the noble Lord whether he is now saying that an undertaking given by me, as a representative of this Government, would be dishonoured by a Government of another complexion.
§ LORD STONHAM
I am not saying anything about dishonour. What I am saying is that undertakings given by the Minister now are undertakings given by a Minister of this Government and there are precedents for indicating that they are not binding on another Government, probably of a different political colour, in another Parliament. That is another reason for suggesting that these words should go into the Bill.
THE EARL OF FEVERSHAM
I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Newton for at least providing me with a half-assurance that Her Majesty's Government will consult the bodies he has 911 named. Although such consultation is not embodied in the terms of the Bill, at least we have on record that a great number of educational and other institutions will be consulted on the appointment of personnel to the Council, and I am grateful for that assurance. I do not think that the terms that have fallen from the noble Lord in reply are quite logical or clear, but at this late stage I have no intention of taking this issue to a Division, and I beg leave to withdraw my Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ First Schedule agreed to.
§ Remaining Schedule agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Bill reported without amendment: Report received.