§ 21. Mr. Rankin
asked the Secretary of State for Air to what extent fluctuations in the Merchant Navy scales of salaries for officers apply to the Ocean Weather Service, and why he has failed to operate the agreement on parity of pay and leave as between the two services reached on 29th August, 1960.
§ Mr. Amery
Changes in the Merchant Navy scales of pay and leave do not automatically apply to officers of the Ocean Weather Service and so there has been no failure to operate an agreement.
We do, however, take Merchant Navy scales into account.
Following upon the National Maritime Board's agreement of 29th August, 1960, we adjusted the pay of our officers.
We did not on that occasion alter leave scales, but these are now under review in the light of a more recent agreement by the National Maritime Board.
§ Mr. Rankin
The right hon. Gentleman is telling me that what I say is correct, that there was an agreement reached on 29th August, 1960, to try to establish parity between these two services. Is he aware that yesterday we had a succession of statements from hon. Members opposite pointing out that intimations of increased dividends had been made before the pay pause and they had to be paid after the pay pause because those concerned felt in honour bound to do so? The right hon. Gentleman has made a promise with regard to parity. Is he not equally bound by the same code of honour in view of the fact that the 1344 job of these men is much more arduous and dangerous than that of the average shareholder?
§ Mr. Rankin
In view of that further reply from the right hon. Gentleman, will he tell me why he has partially recognised the agreement by giving an interim award to the weather ship officers in order to try to bring them a little nearer to the pay of the Merchant Navy services?