HC Deb 11 June 1968 vol 766 c32
Q12. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the disproportionately small number of women appointed by him to serve on public committees, councils and boards, and of the valuable services rendered by women in the Civil Service and in other spheres; and what plans he has made to correct this disproportion in future appointments.

The Prime Minister

The Government are well aware of the contribution women can and do make in so many spheres; as to public appointments, these are made solely on the basis of suitability for the post concerned, and very many women have accordingly been appointed.

Mr. Hughes

In view of the success of those already appointed, and indeed those elected to this House, will the Prime Minister appoint more so as to establish equality between the sexes in the various spheres of public service?

The Prime Minister

The real way, of course, to establish and honour the principle of equality is to appoint the best person for the job regardless of whether that person is a man or a woman. If one starts arguing that we have to appoint more women just because they are women that is a denial of equality in itself.

Dr. Winstanley

Is the Prime Minister aware that on regional economic planning councils women are conspicuous by their absence? In view of his expressed opinion, will he correct this omission?

The Prime Minister

That has already been noticed and there will be discussion about it when vacancies occur.