HC Deb 15 December 1953 vol 522 c182
20. Miss Ward

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the improved financial position of the country as regards balance of payments and productivity, he will now implement his pledge on equal pay without delay.

Mr. R. A. Butler

As I told the hon. Member for West Ham, North (Mr. Lewis) on 17th November, I have nothing to add to previous replies on this subject.

Miss Ward

But having regard to the literature recently issued by the Conservative Party, will my right hon. Friend take steps to implement the pledge in the next Budget? In anticipation of his answer to that question, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he is not establishing a close season rather early in the Parliamentary Session?

Mr. Butler

If I were to establish an open season, heaven knows what would happen.

Mr. Lewis

In view of the Government's past policies and the fact that a unanimous decision of this House was in favour of this principle and the Government have accepted it, is it not dishonest for the Government not to do something now?

Mr. Butler

The hon. Member might ask whether it was not dishonest for the late Government not to have done something.

Sir H. Williams

Will my right hon. Friend not consider whether he might not resolve this problem by making the starting age for old age pensions the same for women as for men? It would save my right hon. Friend many millions a year.