HC Deb 11 April 1960 vol 621 cc890-1
Mr. Emrys Hughes

I wish to raise a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. I express my regret to you that I have not been able to inform you beforehand, because the newspaper was placed in my hands only since the beginning of this sitting of the House.

I apologise to you for the personal nature of this matter, but it is a matter which, I think, reflects on the women Members of this House. I have been asked by a woman hon. Member, who regards it as a matter of delicacy, to raise this matter. I do so in the interests of the women hon. Members of the House and also possibly for the protection of the male Members of the House.

This is a copy of a paragraph which appeared in the Sunday Express yesterday. It reads: Lady Hylton-Foster, wife of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster, who became Speaker of the House of Commons last October, holds strong views on women Members of Parliament. ' I can't think why they do it' she tells me. ' I just don't understand them. Women don't have enough education to become politicians'. I do not wish to comment, Sir.

The paragraph goes on to say: I know that many Labour M.P.s who have had no education have done extremely well, but they have bothered to find out things for themselves and read up what they don't know. Women don't. I do not wish to press you to give your judgment today, Mr. Speaker, but I respectfully submit that this is a question of Privilege, and ask you whether you would give your views on it tomorrow.

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member should bring the newspaper to me.

Copy of newspaper handed in.

Mr. Speaker

I will not conceal from the House that I have already read it. Under our new Standing Order I am allowed to take 24 hours to consider the matter. That I will do.