Page 2, 8th May 1953

8th May 1953
Page 2
Page 2, 8th May 1953 — Equal Pay for Teachers

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Equal Pay for Teachers

Sia.-I had hoped that, having

written at considerable length, and dealt with many aspects of this thorny question (a fact which Miss Quinn sees fit to criticise), 1 should not want to encroach further on your space. But I cannot allow to go unchallenged the astonishing assertion of Miss Oddie that in the absence of "equal pay" the men are supporting their families in part on money which is really not theirs but that of their women colleagues, to whom they ought to express their thanks.

This lady appears to be labouring

under the delusion that the salaries were once equal. and at some time or other something was transferred from the women to the men! It is one thing to demand (however mistakenly) that the scale of women's salaries should be increased to that of the men's; it is a very different matter to claim that the amount of the difference is the women's. The folly of this contention becomes more apparent when the advocates of "equal pa)," like St. Joan's Alliance, propose that the schoolmasters' families should be supported entirely out of other people's pockets by means of "allowances and income-tax relief for all dependants."

But when Miss Oddie mentions my

family by name as being partly supported by money which is, in effect, filched from the women teachers she is guilty of nothing less than impertinence. Yet she is nearer the truth than she supposes, for my family has indeed been supported in part by one woman teacher, and I will accept. her invitation to express thanks, not to women teachers as a whole, but to those unfortunate women teachers who, despite the cares and duties of family life, have to go back to teaching and try to do two jobs for the price of one because, small and frugal though their families are, they cannot manage on a schoolmaster's salary alone.

"You must not carry this business

of equality of pay," said Mr. Ernest Bevin when Minister of Labour, "to such a point to which it takes both husband and wife to earn a suitable wage." There lies the danger of the present agitation. which is no less pernicious because some of its ad-, herents pay lip-service to the Christian ideals of the family, which by their actions they are trying to


H. Grant Scarfe.

St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill,

Twickenham, Middlesex.

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