17 AUGUST 1944, Page 11


SIR,—Your analysis of the results of the B.M.A. questionary brings out clearly three important points: (i) Slightly over half the replies were unfavourable to the White Paper as a whole, and nearly two-thirds of the general practitioners were unfavourable.

(ii) Nearly half thought that the suggested National Health Service would cause the quality of the country's medical service to be impaired, and only a quarter of the general practitioners thought it would be improved thereby.

(iii) just over half considered the scheme made medicine an unattrac- tive profession for their children, and 6o per cent. of general practitioners thought so.

Although as a nation we dislike trusting experts, I would suggest that these figures should cause the public to think carefully. Many more doctors will be called for, and it is a serious matter that so many general practitioners take the view they do. For a characteristic feature of British medicine has been the way that for generations a father has been succeeded by a' son. That tradition, and it is a valuable one, is obviously likely to perish. Given a reasonable degree of freedom the profession

appears willing to try to work a scheme, but in its present form they evidently doubt whether the public will really benefit by the change.—