Abstract For several isotopes of Cd, Sn and Te, cross sections for the (n, p) process have been measured by activation relative to 27Al(n, α) 24Na. As target materials, natural Cd, Sn and TeO 2 of high purity have been used. Measurements were carried out by γ-detection using a Ge(Li) detector. For measuring short-lived activities, a pneumatic tube system was used. The neutron energy was 14.6±0.2 MeV for all activations. The results obtained for the total (n, p) cross sections show decreasing values with increasing number of neutrons for a given proton number. This trend obviously follows the behaviour of the difference of the proton and neutron separation energies, determining the competition between proton and neutron emission.