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Burning plasma experiments such as ITER and DEMO require diagnostics capable of withstanding the harsh environment generated by the intense neutron flux and to maintain stable operating conditions for times longer than present day systems. For these reasons, advanced control and monitoring (CM) systems will be necessary for the reliable operation of diagnostics. This paper describes the CM system of the upgraded magnetic proton recoil neutron spectrometer installed at the Joint European Torus focusing in particular on a technique for the stabilization of the gain of the photomultipliers coupled to the neutron detectors. The results presented here show that this technique provides good results over long time scales. The technique is of general interest for all diagnostics that employ scintillators coupled to photomultiplier tubes.