4 MARCH 1949, Page 5

At last, it must be assumed, the almost criminally hard

case of Professors at Oxford and Cambridge and some—but not all—other universities is to be dealt with on a basis of justice. That has happened in a roundabout way. The Ministry of Health has set at a reasonable figure the remuneration of consultants and specialists. That might naturally mean a flight from medical and dental teaching at the universities, with its much lower range of pay. Hence the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement on Monday of much higher rates in this field. Professors in clinical posts are to get from £2,250 to £2,750, with lecturers and readers proportionate. In pre- clinical posts the professorial salary is to range from £2,000 to £2,500. This compares with the normal salary of £1,400-£1,5oo for Professors in other faculties. That anomaly obviously cannot continue, but the University Grants Committee, on which the universities now depend for their existence, has hitherto fixed that limit. The inevitable result is that men who feel an obligation to their families are accepting, often with reluctance, posts in business firms at double their present salary. The Prime Minister said on Tuesday that this was no new situation. But in fact it is, for scientists in particular are being bid for by I.C.I. and many other such great concerns as they never-have been before. And the effect is to draw talent steadily away from the very place where scientists are made. Nothing but an all-round advance of professorial salaries can remedy that.