asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the re-grading schemes of the Post Office, Public Trustee Office, Ministry of Labour, and outdoor staff of the Ministry of Health show the posts to be allocated on re-grading to men and women separately, and that in no case is the proportion of higher to lower posts as high for the women as for the men employed on the same class of work, the discrepancy being in some cases as high as one in four higher posts for men and one in 24 for women; and, as the work throughout the Service is now standardised in grades, what is the reason for the discrepancy?
The circumstances of different Departments vary greatly and only the Ministers in charge of the Departments named could give a detailed answer to this question. But, speaking generally, re-grading schemes for the Departments named, as for others, have been based on the work to be done and not on the sex of the officers who are performing or may perform that work. The schemes of the Ministry of Labour and Public Trustee's Office do not show separately the posts allocated to each sex. The ratio of higher to lower posts depends entirely on the merits of the work. I cannot accept the proportions quoted as accurate, seeing that in the case, for instance, of the outdoor staff of the Ministry of Health the proportion of inspectors (or of inspectors and assistant-inspectors) to lower grades favours the women. The allocation of existing personnel to the re-organised complements depends largely on existing grades and duties.