The Cabinet Secretaries' Notebooks (CAB 195/8)
Equal Pay : International Labour Conference
Equal Pay : International Labour Conference.
Why so late?
Submn fr. I.L.O. v. late.
Was referred to offl. w. party early in April. Wd. have bn. better if Ministers had seen it in less perfect form earlier.
Diff. for small Cab. to settle.
Don't see what other course we can take.
Want to keep ques. in I.L.O. where it will be handled as industrial issue.
Keep in mind our own policy decln.
Want to nurse it so tht. it comes up next year as Recommn not Convention.
We cd. then make reservn.
We must take positive line.
On Agenda for 2 yrs. Been steering it. Women's organns in U.K. who wd. like a convn support our line of opposg. concept of job content. Hence "no discrimn " line.
Must take a/c of diff. methods of wage-fixing in diff. countries.
Discn on position proposed will be better for our prestige and for public opinion in U.K.
Policy outlined in para. 8.
I.L. Convns - we enforce and others don't
Even a recommn will give larger impetus to demands. Will certainly be pressed to apply it to Govt. service.
On "as soon as practicable" G.A.I. must emphasise tht. we stand where we did 2 yrs. ago.
"As soon as economic circs. of the country, in opinion of Govt permit" would be much safer. Genl. support for this.
But there are diffies, other than economic. Eg. physiological diffces. must be taken into a/c.
Words like R.S.C.'s quoted on p. 8.
Must support M/L. attempt to get discn on these lines.
Remember 1944, when I was at I.L. Confce and resoln passed on Educn Bill.
We have swallowed all diffies other than definn of what is equal work.
L.a.'s stand on point tht. they won't agree ques. teachers until applies to Govt. service.
Must try the line recommended by M/L.
Questionnaire and replies: haven't seen them: but cdn't we say there isn't enough informn to warrant procdg. Urge collection of more: at preliminary conference next year. Surely we can dig out diffies fr. the replies.
Support M/L. plan fr. genl. U.N. policy. Has bn. raised in other U.N. agencies: we wd. prefer to keep it in I.L.O. If it isn't being handled promisingly then, it will be dragged up elsewhere and I.F.T.U. will explain it.
Cd. we swing in social as well as economic context. Can't discuss equal pay w'out family allowances. Support E.Sh. - further enquiries etc. Spin it out.
Will play R.S.C. line - adding criterion of practicability.
Accept principle - subject to social policy and to econ. condns of country etc.
While I support the theory, we have a long way to go before we have worked out practical appln. In teachg. eg. equal pay wd. drive out male teachers.
In practice we are much nearer to it then many countries which are readier to accept the principle.
In spite of pressure groups, doubt if a referendum wd. show a majority in favour of equal pay.
Cd. you get a debate on cost - and its inflationary effects - not only in U.K. but elsewhere.
Might refer to this in my speech on Director's report.
Taken from C.M. 35(50) - Meeting held on 6 June 1950.