HC Deb 31 January 1929 vol 224 cc1130-1
42. Sir W. de FRECE

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the Government Departments to which for the first time women have been appointed within the last year; and whether, in view of the success of women candidates in the examinations, he will give further consideration to the adoption of the, principle of equal pay for equal work, irrespective of sex, in the Civil Service?


Within the 12 months preceding the 28th January, 1929, women have been appointed from open competitive examinations for the first time in the capacities stated to the following Departments:

  • Ministry of Transport—Junior Administrative Officer.
  • Customs and Excise—Executive Officer.
  • Inland Revenue—Executive Officer.
  • Ministry of Labour—Executive Officer.
  • Estate Duty Office—Assistant Examiner.
  • Exchequer and Audit Office—Assistant Auditor.
With regard to the last part of the question, His Majesty's Government have given renewed consideration to this matter in view of representations recently made on the subject. They have, however, found it impossible to depart from the decision already announced both by this and by the late Government that the present state of the country's finances will not admit of the great increase of expenditure involved in the application of the principle of equal pay for men and women in the Civil Service.

Viscountess ASTOR

Does that statement really carry out the sex equality which this Government passed—the Bill for sex equality? Is that fair or just?


It really represents the decision and policy of His Majesty's Government and the decision and policy of their predecessors.

Viscountess ASTOR

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that because his predecessors made a mistake, or were unjust, he has any right to carry on the injustice?


I should be perfectly prepared, on a suitable occasion, to argue the matter with the Noble Lady, but this is not the occasion.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in a case where an ex-service man was employed by the Minister of Labour and was unable to go on because he was disabled, his wife had to take on the job at exactly £l a week less?


Would the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to engage in a debate on the wireless with the Noble Lady?

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