§ 29. Mrs. Castle
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now extend the principle of equal pay for comparable work at present enjoyed by women in the public transport services to all women employed in transport in the Government service.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Derick Heathcoat Amory)
No, Sir. The Government have accepted the principle of equal pay for the non-industrial Civil Service, but in the case of industrial workers they follow the practice in outside industry. Most of the women to whom the hon. Member refers are in the second category.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the National Joint 1283 Council for Passenger Transport lays down one rate of pay for men and women? Is he not also aware that in the ambulance services all over the country women drivers and attendants get full pay and that therefore throughout the whole range of transport, private and public, outside Government service there is an overwhelming measure of equal pay? Is it not time, therefore, that the Government gave the girls in green and the women drivers of the Atomic Energy Authority the same rights as those which women enjoy outside Government service?
I do not think that the bon. Lady is correct when she says that that is overwhelmingly the case in outside industry. I am advised that in outside industry it is generally not the practice for the rates to be the same. Where they are the same, of course, that would be a factor in the comparison to which I have referred. The rates in force have been agreed with the trade unions concerned.