HC Deb 01 March 1955 vol 537 cc1859-60
7. Mr. Rankin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that the older women in the employment of the Civil Service, who are within seven years of retirement, will not receive either full equal pay or a full pension; and if he will look into their case with a view to giving it special treatment.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I would refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) on Tuesday, 15th February last.

Mr. Rankin

I am aware of that answer, and while I realise the Chancellor's difficulty in the matter, would he not, in view of the sense of injustice which prevails, agree to meet representatives of the National Association of Women Civil Servants, which is the oldest women's organisation concerned in this matter, in order to talk over the question with them?

Mr. Butler

Though I should be glad to receive any representations made by the hon. Member, I do not think I could give such an undertaking, because this scheme was agreed to by the Staff Side.

35. Mr. Willey

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will arrange to discuss with the Civil Service National Whitley Council the desirability of retaining in employment those women who are, by reason of age, at present excluded from the full benefits of the equal pay award, so that they may qualify through their future service beyond the normal retiring age.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No women are excluded from the scheme by reason of age. There is no longer a normal retiring age in the Civil Service; the general policy now is to allow civil servants to serve beyond the minimum retiring age of 60, provided they are fit and efficient and there is work for them to do.

Mr. Willey

As the Chancellor knows that his previous replies on this subject have brought me little comfort, will he see what can be done, in the light of his reply, to ensure that women who do not enjoy the full benefits of the concession which he has made at any rate receive full pensions?

Mr. Butler

I can only undertake to keep what the hon. Gentleman has said quite humanly in mind. I cannot go further than that today.