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Chief Medical Officer (Salary)

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 21 June 1922

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what grounds the salary of Sir George Newman, chief medical officer to the Ministry of Education, has recently been advanced to £2,500 per annum; what are the duties of Sir George Newman; if the appointment is a whole-time appointment; and by whom is the Department in which he is engaged controlled?

Under an arrangement made when the Ministry of Health was founded, and very much to the advantage of the public service, Sir George Newman performs the duties pertaining to the posts of chief medical officer of the Ministry of Health and chief medical officer of the Board of Education.

The salaries before the posts were combined were

Principal medical officer, Local Government Board1,500
Principal medical officer, Board of Education1,800

It will be seen therefore that the cost to the Exchequer has been substantially reduced.

The appointment is whole-time. The medical departments of the Ministry of Health and Board of Education are controlled by the Permanent Secretaries of those Departments under the respective Ministers. Sir George Newman has the status of a secretary in the Ministry of Health and his salary was raised from £2,100 to £2,500 per annum as part of arrangements made for the whole service by the Treasury arising out of the Report of the Committee presided over by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Paisley.

Is not this salary £500 in excess of the salary of the President of the Board of Education? What relationship does it bear to other salaries in the Department?

As this official is subordinate to me, and not to the President of the Board of Education, the comparison should be with my salary.

How does the right hon. Gentleman justify this increase of £500, in view of the statements made in the House that the country cannot afford the present cost of education?

Has the right hon. Gentleman observed that it is millionaires in this House who ask these questions about the salaries of men who have done great service for the country?