2 APRIL 1948, Page 15

Sit,—There is one aspect of the present position which seems

to have been overlooked, and which to the outside layman appears fundamental. It is urged against the B.M.A. that the present scheme differs little " in principle " from that proposed previously by their own committee and that suggested 'by the Coalition Government. Everyone seems to have

been soothed by " the principle " of a " comprehensive National Health Service," without considering exactly what was implied. The present crucial point is that much has happened since then. A Labour Govern- ment has nationalised several industries and is in process of nationalising several more ; vaguely, the individual citizens are beginning to see how the things to come are taking shape. Furthermore, throughout this time the same Labour Government has shown little solicitude for, and has even been accused, rightly or wrongly, of vindictiveness against, the professional and middle classes. The recent articles in The Economist are enlightening on this point.

Can one wonder, therefore, that individual doctors, confronted with the detailed realities of what is in effect the nationalisation and shackling with bureaucracy of the most personal and human of professions, reject the scheme overwhelmingly ? Undoubtedly they are fighting for their professional freedom, and it may be that their action represents the first organised resurgence of the middle classes against the insidious modern