HC Deb 04 May 1965 vol 711 c1088
8. Mr. Freeson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will issue a direction, in the public interest, under Section 4(1) of the Bank of England Act, 1946 to the Bank of England to remove the condition of employment for shorthand-typists that they should be British by birth and parentage, and the similar condition imposed on applicants for the position of electrician at the Bank's printing works.

Mr. MacDermot

No, Sir.

Mr. Freeson

Is there not an important point of principle and policy here? What possible purpose is served by putting a discriminatory clause in the terms and conditions of employment for shorthand-typists and electricians as set out in my Question? Will my hon. and learned Friend look at this matter again?

Mr. MacDermot

There is no question of the Government putting in any discriminatory clause because it is not a matter for the Government. The appointment, remuneration and conditions of service of the staff of the Bank of England are domestic matters determined by the Court of Directors. It is laid down in the Charter of the Bank that these are matters within the province of the Court.

Sir J. Maitland

Whether it be right or wrong, is it not an example of racial discrimination?

Mr. MacDermot

It is not for me to answer questions about the policy of the Court of Directors on employment. These are matters left within the discretion of the Court. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to make representations to the Court of Directors, he can do so.

Sir G. Nicholson

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. It seems a little odd that the Financial Secretary should answer questions and then say that he is not empowered to answer a question on the same matter. Has not something gone wrong?

Mr. Speaker

I do not think so.