HC Deb 01 March 1921 vol 138 cc1587-8
18. Major Sir KEITH FRASER

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the duties of private secretary and assistant private secretary to a member of the Army Council are being carried out by ladies; and were these positions formerly filled by higher division civil servants?

The SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Sir Laming Worthington-Evans)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The post of private secretary to a member of Council is held sometimes by a lady, sometimes by a regimental officer, sometimes by a retired officer clerk and sometimes by a clerk of the higher division of the Civil Service. Only one member of Council at present has an assistant private secretary and this appointment will expire on 31st March next.


Seeing that there are so many ex-officers unemployed, are these ladies considered indispensable?


I am in hearty sympathy with the desirability of giving every opportunity of employment to those not able to get work elsewhere, but there are special reasons why these particular appointments should be allowed to stand. I have gone into this question myself, and am satisfied with the arrangement.


If the women make themselves particularly efficient in these jobs, is there any reason why they should not be employed?

Sir J. D. REES

Is not the right hon. Gentleman as head of the War Office prepared to lay it down that the bravo continue to deserve the fair?

Viscountess ASTOR

Is that a very respectful way of speaking of women who are doing extraordinarily good work in the positions which they hold; and is it adding to the dignity of the House when an hon. Member speaks of women in that fashion?

Forward to