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Application To Crown

Volume 897: debated on Saturday 16 August 1975

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Lords amendment: No. 64, in page 50, line 40, leave out "Subject to section 17".

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

With this it will be convenient to take Lords amendment Nos. 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74 and 75.

The main purpose of this group of amendments is to carry out the Government's intention to include in the Bill a clause creating a general duty on a Minister of the Crown or Government Department not to discriminate in considering persons for, and in making, public appointments. The Government intend by the new Clause F which would be inserted by Lords Amendment No. 70 to make an unequivocal declaration of public policy in this matter.

The new clause applies to offices held by persons appointed by Ministers of the Crown and Government Departments where there is no relationship which is properly analogous with an employer/employee relationship between the person appointed and the appointing Minister or Department. Subsection (2) introduces a duty not to discriminate in the arrangements for considering and making appointments, and provides that this duty shall not extend to a case in which such discrimination would not be unlawful under Part II if the Crown were the employer. In the nature of things this kind of public duty is not capable of enforcement under Part II of the Bill, but there is the possibility of enforcement by prerogative writ under Clause 59.

All the other amendments—except part of Lords Amendment No. 68 which I will come to in a moment—are in some sense consequential on the new clause. Lords Amendments Nos. 64 to 67 and 69 and that part of Lords Amendment No. 68 which deletes the existing subsection (3) clarify the application of Clause 80 so that it applies only to "service of the Crown" which in substance involves an employer/employee type of relationship.

Lords Amendments Nos. 71, 72, 74 and 75 to Schedule 1 keep the Equal Pay Act in step with Clause 80, since both of these relate to employer/employee relationships.

That leaves the part of Lords Amendment No. 68 which deals with armed services cadet forces. The purpose of this amendment is to enable the cadet forces to be opened to girls on a controlled entry basis.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendment agreed to.