HC Deb 14 February 1938 vol 331 cc1549-50W
Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury in what Departments of the public service the principle of equality as between men and women operates at present, and to what extent; and what extensions of the principle are contemplated in the near future in these Departments?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

The principle of "a fair field and no favour" for men and women in the civil service, subject to reservations where demanded in the public interest, was recommended by the Royal Commission on the Civil Service (1929–31) and has been adopted generally. It is applied by Departments in consultation with their staffs on the basis of the recommendations of the Committee on Women's Questions (1934), of whose report I am sending the hon. Member a copy. The number and kind of reservations to men and women respectively must of necessity vary from Department to Department, and I am unable to give a detailed account of the position within the limits of a Parliamentary Answer. The scales of pay for men and women, generally speaking, differ; certain standard differentiations have been agreed with the staff interests concerned and are set out in a Treasury Circular of 1937, of which a copy is being forwarded to the hon. Member.