Women (Equal Pay)

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Service – in the House of Commons on 17th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of recent arbitration court awards which have given equal pay to men and women engaged on the same work, he will cause the same principle to be applied to men and women in the Civil Service, more particularly since this House has expressed itself in favour of this?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I see nothing in recent arbitration awards which would lead the Government to reconsider the policy regarding differentiation in pay between men and women civil servants. This policy was explained by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer on 6th April, 1936, when dealing with the expression of opinion to which my hon. Friend refers.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Are we to assume that when this House determines that a certain thing ought to be done in the public service of this country, the Government consider themselves free to disregard that expression of opinion by the House?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

No, Sir. My hon. Friend will no doubt recall that the Government took certain action after that Motion was passed.

Photo of Dr Edith Summerskill Dr Edith Summerskill , Fulham West

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the Government should set an example to the private employers of this country?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

The Government are always setting an example.