HC Deb 17 March 1925 vol 181 cc2042-3

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that the Post Office is the only Government Department which pays its women doctors less than its men doctors for similar work; and whether, in view of the fact that the Post Office advertisements for posts at present vacant are being refused by the medical journals in consequence, he will bring his Department into line with other Departments in this matter?

The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Sir W. Mitchell-Thomson)

The conditions under which women medical officers are employed in the Post Office are not analogous with those of other Departments. The question of equal pay for men and women is one which affects the whole of the Civil Service, and I am not in a position to recommend an exception in respect of this particular class of civil servant.


Why is there no analogy between the Post Office and the other Government Departments? Is not the work the same in each case, and has not the principle of equal pay been accepted by every other Government Department?


I do not think that the circumstances in other Government Departments are analogous to those in the Post Office.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say why they are not analogous?


I cannot go into explanations in answer to supplementary questions. I believe that there is one other Government Department in which the service might be regarded as being approximately something of the same character. That is in the case of the Prison Medical Service. I think—I speak subject to correction—that in that case the same Regulation exists.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, as the medical papers will not insert advertisements for women medical officers for the Post Office, it is necessary for the Post Office to enter into surreptitious correspondence with certain medical schools in order to obtain candidates, and does he consider that that is a dignified procedure for a Government Department?