HC Deb 08 December 1953 vol 521 c1808
53. Miss Ward

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the fact that the number of non-industrial women staff is approximately one-third of the Civil Service, he will take steps to ensure that the number of women members of the recently appointed Royal Commission reflects this position.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Two of the 12 members of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service are women. I have no doubt that these two members will adequately express women's views.

Miss Ward

Yes, but may I ask my right hon. Friend if he is aware that the position regarding the present Royal Commission is not nearly as good as was the case in regard to the Tomlin Commission? May I ask whether in fact he is proposing to increase the number of women representatives on the newly appointed Royal Commission?

Mr. Butler

The answer to the latter part of the Question is, "No, Sir." The answer to the former part is that on the Tomlin Commission there were five women out of a total of 15 members. At that time they had to deal with some particular problems relating to women, one of which was the marriage bar, which has been abolished, and another the reservation of posts for men. While there remain matters of great importance to women, I am satisfied that the women chosen are satisfactory, and indeed are able to express their opinion.

Mr. Houghton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Staff Side of the Civil Service National Whitley Council has never made representations for representatives on the Royal Commission on a sex basis?