HC Deb 10 June 1952 vol 502 cc19-21
37 and 38. Mr. Lewis

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what arrangements he has made, and what date has been fixed, for the calling of an early meeting of the National Whitley Council for the Civil Service to discuss with the Staff Side the early implementation of the principle of equal pay in the Civil Service;

(2) on what date he submitted his proposals to the National Whitley Council for the gradual introduction of equal pay in the Civil Service, in accordance with the recent decision of the House of Commons.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury in the course of the debate on 16th May on the Motion by the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Pannell).

Mr. Lewis

I am well aware of that, because I was in the House at the time; but the Financial Secretary made a promise and said it was the Government's policy gradually to introduce equal pay. I am asking, in both Questions, the date when he made the application for the Whitley Council to meet and to decide this issue. Can he tell me if he has made an approach or when he intends to make an approach to the appropriate Whitley Council for the introduction of equal pay?

Mr. Butler

If I remember rightly, the Financial Secretary said that discussion would not be precluded when our consideration had been carried a stage further. We have not yet concluded our consideration, and therefore I cannot carry the matter a stage further.

Mr. Lewis

Will the Chancellor give an assurance that when his investigations are completed he will make an application, through his appointed officers, to the National Whitley Council?

Mr. Butler

I shall naturally adhere to the considered statement which was made by the Financial Secretary.

Mr. Donnelly

Is not it a fact that the right hon. Gentleman's answer is one more example of shelving this particular problem? Will he not give some firm date on which we shall have some answer to this question?

Mr. Osborne

Is it not a fact that this question was shelved by the three previous Chancellors?