HC Deb 23 July 1941 vol 373 cc871-2
24. Professor A. V. Hill

asked the Minister of Information for what reasons, respectively, Miss Elsie Bowerman and Miss Dorothy Spencer resigned their positions as principals to the Public Meetings and Voluntary Societies section of the Home Division of the Ministry; and whether any women now remain in higher administrative posts in this division?

Mr. Bracken

Miss Spencer said that her resignation was a result of the reorganisation of the section, and Miss Bowerman gave no reason. Apart from these vacancies, which are under consideration, there are 10 women holding responsible positions in the Home Division, though none is as highly paid as the two who have resigned.

Professor Hill

Does the right hon. Gentleman hope to be able to replace these ladies by men of equal experience, responsibility and knowledge, and not of military age?

Mr. Bracken

That raises a thorny question, because this Question is obviously an inspired one.

Mr. Mander

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the real reason these ladies resigned was that they could not stand the persons who were put over them, and in view of the change of Minister will he be good enough to reconsider the staffing of the Department?

Mr. Bracken

If these ladies could not stand the gentlemen put over them, I suppose that there would be lots of other people who would resign from the Ministry.

Miss Ward

In the reorganisation of the Department will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the head of the section has had experience of running public meetings and that the late Minister of Information paid a tribute to the running of the Public Meetings Department?

Mr. Bracken

I will take good note of my hon. Friend's advice.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the best organisers of public meetings in this country are the Communist party?

Miss Ward

On a point of Order. Is it in order for me as a supplementary questioner to give notice that owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I will raise the matter on the Adjournment?

Mr. Speaker

It is open to any hon. Member to speak on the Adjournment.

Miss Ward

Owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I will raise this matter on the Adjournment.?