HC Deb 13 November 1951 vol 493 cc816-7
53. Mr. Ralph Morley

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when, and by what stages, he proposes to give effect to the principle of equal pay for men and women in the Civil Service.

61. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will implement the principle of equal pay for equal work in the Civil Servicge.

66. Mr. George Craddock

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now implement the principle of equal pay for equal work in the public services.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I am not yet in a position to make a statement on this subject.

Mr. Morley

In view of the fact that we have had to wait a long time for this reform, and as both parties are agreed in principle, cannot the right hon. Gentleman make some more definite statement than he has just made? Is there not some question of urgency about this?

Mr. Butler

I have never underestimated the importance of this subject. My hon. and right hon. Friends have stated before now, and I now state again, that we hope that during the life of this Parliament the country's financial position will improve sufficiently to enable us to proceed in this direction. I am at present in process, with the aid of my hon. and right hon. Friends, of improving the country's financial position. If this proves successful then we may all be hopeful.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Having introduced an unknown factor into this problem, namely the lifetime of this Parliament, will the right hon. Gentleman now say whether he is likely to be able to make a statement either before the House rises for the Christmas Recess or before next year's Budget?

Mr. Butler

It depends how soon and how efficaciously His Majesty's Government improve the financial situation of the country.

Mr. J. Hynd

Can the Chancellor give us an assurance that in the event of the Government finding time to introduce this Measure, and of it being carried by the House, the Prime Minister will not come down and make it a vote of confidence in the Government that we should reject it the following day?