§ 56. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the present wage rates of messengers and women cleaners in Government offices; when and by how much were these rates increased; and why he rejected their most recent application for wage increases.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
The present London rates for non-industrial messengers are 100s. a week on first being engaged rising to 103s. a week after one year: the rates elsewhere are somewhat lower. These 135W rates date from 23rd March, 1949, when as a result of an award by the Civil Service Arbitration Tribunal the existing rates were increased by amounts of between 3s. and 5s. a week. The London rate for women cleaners is 1s. 9¾d. an hour; here, also, the rates elsewhere are somewhat lower. These rates date from 1st April, 1949, when, as a result of an arbitration award, existing rates were increased by amounts ranging from 1½d. to 2d. an hour. The most recent application for increases was rejected on the grounds that the current rates were in line with the rates for comparable work outside the Civil Service. I am, however, reconsidering the matter in the light of representations by the union concerned.