HC Deb 18 April 1957 vol 568 cc2075-6
10. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that most of the women serving on the Women's Consultative Committee appointed to advise him are actively supporting the Festival of Women; and why he has not consulted this Committee on this matter.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The terms of reference of the Women's Consultative Committee are to advise me on questions of employment policy referring to women. I do not think that the question of employment policy was involved in this issue.

Dame Irene Ward

As a founder member of the original Committee, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he is aware that the fact that he takes a different view from his predecessors and that, unlike his predecessors, he has not come to see the Committee and discuss things with them, fills me with regret, particularly as quite a number of Government Departments are supporting the Festival of Women? Would it not have been polite of him to come to see us on this matter?

Mr. Macleod

I am always prepared to accept a rebuke. I am coming, I hope, to the next meeting of the Women's Consultative Committee. As a matter of fact, I do not think that this is a matter within the terms of reference which I have indicated, but I have had a further approach from the Festival of Women, which has put a particular proposal to me which I am considering.

Dame Irene Ward

May I thank my right hon. Friend?

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what other representative women's organisations he consulted on this matter?

Mr. Macleod

No, Sir. The original Question was whether Government money should be expended on this. That is a matter for Government decision, and it is not one on which one can consult and take advice from outside opinion.

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