Yes, Sir. I am glad to say that after consultation with the trades union representatives on the Joint Consultative Committee it has been decided to increase as from the 2nd March the basic pay of whole-time members of the Civil Defence Services recruited for the period of the emergency. The increases will be 4s. weekly for men and 5s. for women, aged 20 years of age and over. The increase for women includes an improvement in their scale which has been under consideration for some time. The details are about to be announced. In addition to the increase in pay, I propose to apply to whole-time members of the same services similarly recruited a post-war credit scheme on lines similar to that announced recently for His Majesty's Forces. Particulars of the scheme, and of the classes to which it will apply, will be announced later. I may add that these arrangements will apply also to the Police Auxiliaries.
While the right hon. Gentleman's statement will give great satisfaction to a good body of men, am I to understand that the categories concerned will be announced in the further statement he has in mind?
The women had a wage of £2 7s. per week and the men £3 10s. I took the view that that was rather a severe discrimination and that it was wrong. I have therefore taken the opportunity of improving the relative position of the women, which I think is justified by the circumstances.