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Colonial Office (Shorthand Typists)

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that typists and shorthand typists from an outside agency are being employed in his Department; what is their rate of remuneration, including tax, free allowances, and the regulations to which they are conditioned; what additional fee or commission is being paid to the agency; what are the rates of pay and conditions of employment of established and temporary shorthand typists employed directly by his Department on comparable work in the same office; and what steps he is taking to secure for the members of the typing grades directly employed by his Department the same rates and conditions as are enjoyed by those who work under the private agency.

It has been necessary in the Colonial Office to employ for short periods at various times a few shorthand typists and typists from an agency in order to meet special pressure of work or to minimise the delay in urgent work. I am obtaining the information my hon. Friend asks for and will send it to him, but I understand that the charges by the Agency are higher than the wages paid for comparable work in the Civil Service. The question of pay and conditions in the Civil Service is not one for my Department.