6 February 1948

Mr Attewell asked the minister for health in the House of Commons whether membership of a trade union would be a condition of employment in the NHS, and whether existing professional bodies would be represented in the machinery for negotiating pay and conditions.

In a written answer, health minister Aneurin Bevan replied: 'No. I hope that persons employed in the NHS will be encouraged to belong to their appropriate organisations, but it will not be a condition of employment, and there will be no pressure upon anyone to belong to any organisation, whether professional or trade union.

'Arrangements for setting up Whitley machinery in the NHS are well advanced... No fewer than 25 professional organisations are represented, and there is no truth in the suggestion that they will not have representation as appropriate'.