HC Deb 13 December 1939 vol 355 cc1227-8W
Mr. McEntee

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will give the salary of the wife of the Under-Secretary of the Admiralty who has been appointed to act in a secretarial capacity to her husband, both in the last war and in the present war, and the date of her recent appointment; and whether he can now state the result of his review of the propriety of continuing this appointment?

Mr. Churchill

I am informed that the lady in question worked at the Admiralty in a similar capacity for two years during the late war at salaries ranging between 42s. and 72s. 6d. per week, and has considerable experience of secretarial work, including five years established service under a Colonial Government. She entered Admiralty service unofficially and unpaid before the present war broke out and she has carried out her duties in an extremely efficient manner. She was officially appointed on the 17th September, 1939, and is receiving a salary of 52s. a week.

I do not think that the employment of wives of Admiralty officials, as their secretaries, would be desirable as a general practice, and I have given directions accordingly. Having, however, examined the merits of this particular case, to which my hon. Friend has drawn attention, I do not propose to cancel the appointment.