HC Deb 23 November 1943 vol 393 cc1445-6
53. Sir D. Hacking

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that women civil servants are frequently doing exactly the same work as men civil servants and in many cases performing even more important and responsible duties and yet are in receipt of much lower salaries; and whether he will recommend the appointment of a select or departmental committee to institute a comprehensive inquiry into existing anomalies amongst men and women civil servants, both permanent and temporary, with a view to the adoption of the principle now becoming common amongst industrial workers of equal pay for equal work?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Sir John Anderson)

As was stated by my predecessor on 1st July this year in answer to the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. W. Brown), the Government are not prepared at present to adopt the principle of equal pay for women employed in the common classes of the Civil Service.

Sir D. Hacking

If it is right and proper for Members of this House and Ministers to receive equal pay for equal work, irrespective—

Mr. Speaker

The right hon. Gentleman is putting an argument and not a question.

Sir D. Hacking

Yes, Mr. Speaker, it is a question I am asking. If that is right and proper, surely it is right—

Hon. Members


Mrs. Tate

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the United States of America, Russia, China, Brazil, Mexico, Greece, Jugo-slavia and Czecho-Slovakia give equal payment for equal service, and does he not think we should rise above the level of Japan and Germany and our co-belligerent Italy?

Sir J. Anderson

I thank my hon. Friend for that information.

Mr. W. Brown

Is the Minister not aware that this House has on two occasions passed Resolutions in favour of the application of the principle of equal pay for equal work, and may I ask what point there is in this House coming to decisions if the Government do not act upon them?

Sir J. Anderson

I would refer my hon. Friend to the statement made in this House by a predecessor of mine after one of the incidents to which he referred.

Mr. Pritt

Should not the right hon. Gentleman be encouraged to reconsider the whole matter, having regard to the Government's demonstration of equality between the sexes in the case of Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley?

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