Sex Equality.

Oral Answers to Questions — Government Departments. – in the House of Commons at on 6 August 1924.

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Photo of Dorothy Jewson Dorothy Jewson , Norwich

67.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will set up a committee to discuss the question of equal pay for equal work for men and women in the Civil Service?

Mr. GRAHAM:

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave on this subject on the 3rd July to the Noble Lady the Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth, of which I am sending her a copy.

Viscountess ASTOR:

A most unsatisfactory reply!

Photo of Dorothy Jewson Dorothy Jewson , Norwich

Does not the hon. Member think that that reply was contrary to the spirit, if not the letter, of the Sex Disqualification Removal Act?

Viscountess ASTOR:

Does not the hon. Gentleman think it was contrary to the election promises of the Labour party?

Mr. GRAHAM:

The Government had to consider whether under the existing conditions this very large expenditure could be faced, and the decision was that at the moment it could not be faced.

Viscountess ASTOR:

The Government should have considered that point when they were making the promise.

Photo of Mr John Harris Mr John Harris , Hackney South

Are we, as a nation, not committed to support this principle in the Treaty of Versailles, and if we are committed to support this principle, should not the Government Departments set an example?

Mr. GRAHAM:

The position, I think, is that we are quite committed to the principle of equality of opportunity, and generally, also, on the question of equality of pay, but, as I view it, this is very largely a practical matter of how soon that can be attained, and the decision is that at the moment the funds cannot be found for this very large expenditure.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Have not the Government already recognised this principle, because the lady Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour receives the same salary as other Parliamentary Secretaries??

Viscountess ASTOR:

That is a different matter.