HC Deb 13 November 1962 vol 667 cc167-8
1. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many turnstiles have been removed from municipal public conveniences since 31st July, 1962; and how many local authorities are still refusing to remove their turnstiles.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. F. V. Corfield)

At least 423 turnstiles either have been or are going to be removed—56 more than at 31st July. The number already removed is not known. Fifty authorities have refused to remove any turnstiles; nine have removed some turnstiles but are keeping others.

Mrs. Castle

Does not the figure of fifty local authorities which have refused to remove turnstiles mean that four more have decided to defy the Minister since his last Answer to me in July? In other words, is not rebellion on the increase, instead of there being conformity on this urgent public matter? In view of this, will the Minister now undertake to introduce legislation immediately to compel local authorities to fall into line, because women are losing all patience on this matter?

Mr. Corfield

It is certainly true that the number of definite refusals has risen, but this is due to the fact that four further authorities which had not replied at all have now done so. I think the hon. Lady will agree that an increase to 60 per cent. shows that progress is being made. I do not think that the powers of persuation have been exhausted, although my right hon. Friend in no way departs from the undertaking with regard to legislation, should this prove necessary.