HC Deb 08 April 1971 vol 815 cc729-45

2.12 p.m.

Mr. E. S. Bishop (Newark)

I am very pleased to have the opportunity of initiating a debate on discrimination against women within the Civil Service. We must ask ourselves what are the criteria for assessing whether there is discrimination in the Civil Service. Unless the Minister and I have common criteria we shall get nowhere, and I should like him to say early in his reply whether he accepts my view.

Millions will claim, and I am one of them, that in modern marriage and family life partners should both be able to contribute or to have dual rôles, that of running their home and family life, and at the same time, if they wish, that of following a career. This involves each partner in a joint rôle domestically and outside the home, and society should so fashion its procedures as to make both rôles possible for men and women. If it fails to do so, and either deliberately or thoughtlessly hinders men and women in their wish to live as unstunted and fully developed beings, discrimination is proved, and this should be a situation of top priority for change.

In a recent publication "Sex, Career and Family", Michael Fogarty, the Director of the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, and Rhona and Robert Rapoport, senior social scientists of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations say: What is important in the long run is not simply the removal of barriers to women's entry into a world of work which would otherwise remain unchanged but the positive promotion of new attitudes and practices on the part of both men and women, at work and in the family, to take account of the new fact of women's new high level careers…". They suggest that action on race discrimination is building up a volume of experience of positive as well as preventive procedures which it will be well worth while to bring to bear on the problems of women's work. I believe, as do many others, that formal equality of right does not lead to actual equality of right between the sexes unless at the same time a profound change takes place in our social and industrial order, and in our outlook.

Fundamentally, few seek to discriminate, and where it exists discrimination is often the result of an attitude of mind. Women are still tied and bound and restricted by the nylon cords of tradition and out-of-date attitudes, and just as securely as their suffragette grandmothers who were chained to the railings in Whitehall. They and I, and many other men, too, look to Whitehall to set an example in breaking those chains so that men and women may grow to their full stature, which their Creator intended for them.

I begin my plea not by attacking the Minister and the head of the Civil Service, because I know that the Minister can bring a very strong case to refute allegations of discrimination. I can anticipate his replies in which he will remind me of the progress made in recent years in recruitment, pay and conditions of service, and so on, and this will give him the opportunity of telling the country just what thinking is going on, and what the progress is likely to be in the near future.

I was encouraged to read the speech made by Sir William Armstrong, head of the home Civil Service in January, 1970, when addressing a meeting of the Women's National Commission, in which he anticipated some of the changes likely in the rôle of women within the Civil Service. I am aware also that the Civil Service was a forerunner in the granting of equal pay, much to the credit of my right hon. Friend the Member for Sower-by (Mr. Houghton) among others.

I want to discuss the issue for two reasons, among others: first, because I know that there is tremendous interest in the need for more and speedier reforms in reassessing the rôle of women in modern society and, second, because I believe, as others do, that the Civil Service, being State-run, should set an example and a lead to commerce and industry and to employers generally on the standards we might expect.

My main pressure will be brought on the need to allow recruitment of people on grounds of suitability rather than sex; to allow more women to expect full or part-time jobs in the more responsible work; to provide more facilities, having regard to family responsibilities, to allow them to work and make fuller use of their ability and their potential; to facilitate transfer of pension rights for those entering the Service or those wishing to leave it—and this is a most important point—and also to encourage far better educational facilities, making entry into the Service and, of course, the enhancement of career prospects, much improved.

Speaking a year ago about recruitment, Sir William Armstrong claimed that there was …no discrimination in recruitment between men and women except for a very few jobs… But it was admitted that …most women civil servants are in the lower ranks of the service. Only 8 per cent. of the administrative class are women, while 44 per cent. of the clerical class are women. He said that in July, 1969, …here were 29 Permanent Secretaries, none of whom was a woman; only two out of 74 Deputy Secretaries were women and 9 out of 274 Under-Secretaries were women. These figures show the extent to which there may be discrimination, or grounds for change for other reasons.

Sir William continued: A similar pattern, with women clustered in the lower grades occurs in the executive class where 20 per cent, of the total are women. No women hold the highest posts, while the executive officer grade, the lowest grade in this class, has 23 per cent. women. On 22nd February, in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Joyce Butler), whose concern about discrimination has resulted in her seeking to bring in an anti-discrimination Bill for Second Reading on 7th May, the Minister provided a list of a hundred or so jobs in the Civil Service for which women were considered unsuitable. Between us, my hon. Friend and I tabled a couple of dozen Parliamentary Questions asking the Minister to review the list in order to allow women to be recruited.

There has been quite unprecedented publicity about my concern that women might become Yeomen of the Guard. Some may think that in these days of many other problems an hon. Member has something better to think about; but, as I said, I have suggested many other jobs in Questions for review by the Minister.

Having now spent many hours looking through the five very thick volumes of the Fulton Report on the Civil Service to get the kind of atmosphere and climate or background of current thinking, I was rather struck by the outlook of the past in which there may still be some resistance to change. Indeed, in Chapter 1, paragraph 1, we are reminded: The Home Civil Service today is still fundamentally the product of the nineteenth-century philosophy of the Northcote-Trevelyan Report. The tasks it faces are those of the second half of the twentieth-century. Incidentally, the Northcote-Trevelyan Report was published in 1854.

As far as I can see, there is no reference in the Report to the special need to keep a much fairer balance between the sexes in manpower. The latest figures showing the numbers of men and women employed indicate that the Civil Service is still very much a man's world.

We all know and appreciate that India and Israel have enormous problems and that they have considered that women Prime Ministers are required to deal with them; but in Britain we have not yet got to the stage where we think that a woman is fit to become an ambassador. The Diplomatic Service is woefully lacking in womanpower with only 47 women to 1,062 men.

Looking through the tables one sees a lack of balance in other ways, too. There are no women county court clerks. The National Savings Commissioners number 170 men and two women, even though most of us appreciate that housewives are quite good at being Chancellors of the Exchequer.

There is no custom of employing women in the Excise Department which has one woman compared with 5,489 men. The Immigration Service, where I think most of us would feel that women were particularly suitable and had a contribution to make, has 874 men and only two women.

Women can give birth to and rear children, but they are not considered fit to he calf-certifying officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Only six women work for the Animal Health Inspectorate compared with 386 men.

There are only half-a-dozen women gas meter examiners compared with 135 men. I should think that it was time that the penny dropped that there should be a few more women carrying out this job.

As I said earlier, two women can steer their countries through troubled times, but on messengerial work we do not trust women to steer motor vehicles as motor vehicle drivers. There are 254 male accountants and only three women doing that job in the Civil Service. In the engineering disciplines, the levers of power are in the hands of 3,767 men and a mere 29 women. Here again, as one connected with engineering, I see no reason for more women not being encouraged to be educated and trained and given opportunities in engineering in which they can often hold their own with men provided that they get the opportunity.

One can go on making comparisons of this kind. I ask: why the arrogant assumption that men must run the State machine? Why are we allowing the potential which women have to offer to run to waste?

On education, which I suspect is largely bound with this problem, the Fulton Report may give the secret when, in Vol. 1, paragraph 79, it says that the Civil Service aim is to secure for the Service the best man or woman for the job, with the education, training and attitudes appropriate to it. If there is no discrimination, the Minister will undoubtedly allege that women are nowhere in the running on these and educational grounds.

In reply to a Question which I tabled to the Secretary of State for Education and Science on 22nd March I was told: In 1969, 198,139 boys aged 15 to 17, 39.7 per cent. of those in employment, received day or block release for further education; the corresponding figures for girls were 54,619 and 10.4 per cent."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd March, 1971; Vol. 814, c. 63.] In other words, in round figures, the ratio of those getting day-release facilities was 4 to 1 in favour of the males. In further and higher education generally the position is not much better, because there is a ratio of three boys to one girl getting those advantages. This seems an extraordinary situation for a country which can allege that there is no discrimination. Surely, if we think that women are fit only to carry out serf jobs, we should continue to gear our educational system to fit them for that rôle in our society and they will always be eligible for the unskilled or semi-skilled jobs. It seems that we have geared our educational system towards that kind of outlook and philosophy.

I obviously do not want to go too deeply into the educational system in this debate, but it is relevant to recruitment in the Civil Service. We must radically overhaul our educational system to allow the full development of the latent and special abilities of our girls and women so that they can grow into the fuller developed and mature individuals which they ought to have the chance of becoming. It is a wonder that, despite being denied the advantages of the males, women have managed to hold their own in this kind of situation.

Women's dual rôle should make their education and training of double importance. I should like to know whether the Civil Service College is making that challenge a top priority.

It may be that women civil servants are not easily come by, either because of inadequate educational opportunities or because they may appreciate, as many do, the enormous barriers which they have to overcome for entry and advancement in the Civil Service. Equally, the Civil Service may not wish to risk spending on the training of women who may leave the Service on marriage or motherhood. But are not these problems challenges to be faced and overcame rather than reasons or excuses for inaction?

What about planning for such natural eventualities? What about retraining on re-entry after marriage and motherhood for a resumed career prospect? Why judge highly qualified women not only on their performance but on other female staff whose absenteeism rate may be higher, and bar their entry into higher grades and posts of greater responsibility?

I am sorry that the Fulton Report devotes only one page out of hundreds to the subject of women in the Civil Service, apart from a couple of pages of tables at the end. I am sorry that only about eight women gave personal evidence to the Fulton Commission compared with over 260 men. They may have done something as members of organisations, but those were the personal evidence figures.

The universities and school career advisers must, I feel sure, advertise and advise on opportunities in the Civil Service to encourage more applications from girls. The Civil Service must also recognise the changing pattern of marriage and family life, allowing girls to enter the Service and to re-enter later after having a family. I think also that the Minister must look into the situation of pensions and the transferability of pension rights for those entering the Service from other jobs and for those leaving the Service to go elsewhere.

Certainly I hope the Minister will remind his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science to make some radical changes in the education and training of women for, as the Fulton Report says, even though women do compete on less-than-equal terms with men, they are likely to be better qualified in the formal sense than their male colleagues in the same grade. If women are to enter and make progress in many professions where they are not conspicuous by their numbers, they often have to be far better than the men with whom they work.

The problem is not one of sex but one of identity. Whereas at the time when the functions of the Civil Service were laid down, when another Queen reigned, women were not expected to gratify their sexual needs, today women are not allowed to gratify their basic needs. That means growing into fully-developed human beings. I do not think, incidentally, that Dr. Greer's obsession with women's sexual rôle is germane to our discussion of this problem.

The challenge is to call upon all, in private and public industry, and the Civil Service, to a change of attitude. To discriminate is to devalue people. We can do that thoughtlesly by not challenging and changing outmoded attitudes. The Civil Service, with Parliament, can, for example, unchain women as the suffragettes were unchained from the railing 60 years ago. I suggest that the unchaining can start now in Whitehall.

2.32 p.m.

Mr. Ronald Bell (Buckingshamshire, South)

It might seem wiser to let what the hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Bishop) said lie on the Floor, but I think it right that somebody other than the Minister should challenge or disagree with what the hon. Gentleman said, because I have seen so often in the past that pressure groups, constantly exercising their pressure, year in and year out, even though they may be totally unrepresentative of public opinion, nevertheless begin to acquire an effect and influence the course of public affairs. Many of the absurdities in our arrangements derive from the unchecked activities of pressure groups.

The hon. Member for Newark has every right to his views. He has persistently pressed them in this House year after year, and it would be dangerous if the impression got abroad that he represents the House or that there is no adverse and contrary view. What worries me about the hon. Gentleman's views is that inherent in them there is this utter the total disregard and disparagement of the rôle of women in society as women. He takes the view, and he has said it in so many words today, that when a women is a wife and a mother, making a home, one can think of her potential as running to waste. I should be inclined to think that in the case of a woman Excise officer, her potential was running to waste.

There are a good many men who become old women quite early in life—

Mr. Bishop

Hear, hear.

Mr. Bell

—but not many women want to become third-rate men. The hon. Gentleman should realise that there are real distinctions between men and women—not merely physical distinctions but mental and emotional differences. The inequality of numbers in certain occupations which the hon. Gentleman has described simply derive from the fact that men want to do certain things and women, on balance, want to do other things. There is, of course, an immense area of overlap, and the degree to which there is overlap varies from one occupation to another. But when he looks at the Customs and Excise and says that it comprises virtually 100 per cent. men, I could point out that in the maternity ward of any hospital one would find that the occupants are 100 per cent. women. So in varying degrees in other activities of life we find this differentiation. It is fallacious logic which says that because women have babies, they are therefore peculiarly qualified to be calf-certification officers. I do not see the logical consequence there, with all respect to the hon. Gentleman.

It became clear as the hon. Gentleman developed his theme, as he has developed it on other occasions, that what he expects to see—I took his words down—as a matter of fairer balance is that, for example, the administrative grade in the Civil Service should contain an equal number of men and women, and that in the other grades the same should apply. If the hon. Gentleman analyses what he said, he will see that he assumed as a matter of conclusive presumption that whenever there is a numerical difference there must be some adverse and unfair discrimination.

This assumes two things—first, that men and women as such are equally qualified for all occupations, which is plainly not true, because they are different in temperament and in inherent gifts; women will be better in some things and men will be better in others. One should not look for numerical equality in all occupations. The other equally fallacious assumption is that men and women want to do the same things. They do not. What the hon. Gentleman and his col- leagues in the feminist movement are always trying to do is to push women, as a matter of their political principle, into doing things which women are in no way deprived legally from doing but which they do not want to do to the same degree as men do. They want to do other things.

The hon. Gentleman might have instanced—but he did not—that the majority of teachers are, in fact, women. If we consider the primary stage of education we find that the proportion of those teaching young children is overwhelmingly women, which indeed is natural and what one would expect. Just as women give birth to children and are concerned with their early nurture, so they have not an exclusive rôle in the education of young children but a predominant rôle, and that gradually and proportionately varies as the children get older. To me that seems a very natural and sensible arrangement.

Mr. Bishop

When I made the point about the gross imbalance of numbers, I was not suggesting that there should be parity of numbers in all situations. I was talking about the need for equal opportunities so that people can do certain jobs if they so wish. The figures show clearly that this is not so. On the occasion when the hon. and learned Gentleman opposed my Matrimonial Property Bill, which was concerned only with giving both parties to divorces equal rights, I was concerned with equity between people, and he is again showing his dislike for fairness, especially as it applies to women.

Mr. Bell

I do not think you would be grateful, Mr. Deputy Speaker, if I were to embark on consideration of the Matrimonial Property Bill. Indeed, I think it would he out of order in this debate on the Adjournment of the House to refer to any legislation, although the hon. Gentleman, with his brief reference, has got away with it. Therefore, I will not attempt to answer that one.

What I was saying—I think that what the hon. Gentleman reinforces—is that he assumes from disparate numbers that there must be inequity. I challenge that. Disparate numbers show nothing of the kind in a free society, which is what we have, for, be it remembered, there are no legal impediments. The balance of numbers in all these occupations shows two things, and two things only: one, the relative average ability of men and women in particular occupations; two, the relative preference of men and women in different occupations.

All that the hon. Gentleman can do in a society in which there are no legal impediments is to try to exercise pressure either by propaganda or by twiddling the knobs of administrative power, that is, by harassing my hon. Friend—though he is well able to defend himself—and in that way to try to distort the natural pattern. That is all.

The hon. Gentleman began by saying that what is needed now is positive procedures. That is what he meant—coercive or, at the very least, persuasive procedures to coerce or persuade people to do what, left alone, they do not want to do. This is the brainwashing technique. It underlay the race relations legislation which, as the hon. Gentleman knows, I opposed for the same reason. I believe that the law has no function to perform here. In a free society in which nobody is prevented by law from doing anything which he may reasonably wish to do and nobody is coerced to do things in the ordinary run of life which he does not want to do, people should he left alone. "Leave people alone" is not good Socialist doctrine, but it is good Conservative doctrine that people should be left alone to get on with their lives as they wish.

Mr. Bishop rose

Mr. Bell

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will forgive me, for not giving way, but I have in mind the interests of other hon. Members who have subsequent Adjournment debates.

Those matters being so, to conclude as the hon. Gentleman did that to discriminate is to devalue is completely to misunderstand the rôle of discrimination. I do not know what my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary will say, but I hope that he will say that the Civil Service is, and will be, fair and equal but that, where there are relevant differences between men and women, it will not shrink from "discrimination".

There is nothing wrong in discriminating. It is the peculiarly human function of the mind to discriminate. One should discriminate between everyone one meets upon every ground that one can detect, and any law which says that one should not do so is a bad law, because discrimination is always right. Of course, the attachment of disproportionate consequences to observed differences is another matter. But the process of discrimination is always right, and ought never to be disparaged or discouraged in any way out of muddled-minded doctrinaire obsessions with particular political objectives.

2.43 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Civil Service Department (Mr. David Howell)

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Bishop) for the sincere and comprehensive way in which he presented his argument. I am grateful also to my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) for his contribution from a rather different point of view, and for his reminder—if I understood and can encapsulate his argument aright—that, whether men and women are or are not, or should or should not be, equal, they are not the same.

We have heard two valuable points of view expressed, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to say something, perhaps, from the rather narrower standpoint of the actual subject of the debate, that is, the employment of women in the Civil Service.

The hon. Member for Newark very fairly said that he expected me to refute the allegation of unfair and unreasonable discrimination in the Civil Service. I refute it at the outset. We can fairly say that the Civil Service today has reason to be proud of its employment record for both men and women. It has, in fact. generally been ahead of other employers in achieving equality in conditions of employment for men and women. Since the 1930s, women have been able to compete equally with men for entry into the general service classes, since 1946 all married women have been able to continue their employment in the Civil Service, and since 1962 women have had equal pay. In many fields outside the Civil Service, these conditions have not yet been achieved.

It is correct, as the hon. Gentleman reminded us, that some departmental posts have not been open to women, and there are, or have been in the past, four main sets of reasons why this should be so. I shall return to these in a moment, but I emphasise at this stage that though some of these reasons obviously can be, must be, and are under review, some stand firmly on grounds of practicality and common sense.

The four categories of reason are these. In some cases, the experience or skill required in a job is just not available to women. This applies, for instance, to the printing trades and the building trades in which no women have the skills in the jobs involved, sometimes for reasons of union restriction, and sometimes for other reasons of practice and tradition.

The second category of reason is straightforward accommodation difficulties. An obvious situation here arises where a job involves seagoing in a ship or something like that.

The third kind of reason—I say frankly that this is much the most straightforward and, to my mind, perhaps the most obvious and common-sense reason—is that the work is heavy or involves rough conditions and is just not suitable for women.

The fourth kind of reason is that women may be unacceptable to staff, customers or clients. One has in mind here, for example, the situation in all-male penal institutions or something like that.

Those are the four sets of reasons which have governed the situation hitherto, though I emphasise again that these reasons have been reviewed at intervals over the years, they are being reviewed, and it is right that they should be under review. Moreover, it should be remembered that restrictions have been removed over the years from many jobs, so that we have now moved to the stage at which only a marginally small proportion of posts in the Service are still restricted to men.

As I say, there are certain practical difficulties in some institutions in removing restrictions altogether on the employment of women. Nevertheless, in areas of the kind which I have described, we are not content that the situation should remain unchanged or that the reason that things have always been so should be taken as a reason why they should remain so. If the opportunity arises, and if women wish to fill these posts, we are anxious constantly to review these questions and see whether there are possibilities for the removal of restrictions.

During the last year, restrictions have been removed from quite a few jobs in the Civil Service. These include immiagration officers and the Customs and Excise officers to whom the hon. Gentleman referred. We are continuing this review, and we do not regard the fact that some posts have traditionally been filled by men as of itself alone justification for continuing to fill them in that way. Needs change, attitudes change, and the possibilities change. The Government's position is that in future there will have to be other and better reasons than those for the exclusion of women from particular jobs, so I expect that, as time goes on we shall see a steady reduction in the relatively small number of jobs now restricted to men.

I come now to some of the specific points raised by the hon. Gentleman. He referred to recruitment. I hope that he will accept a reassurance from me about this. Women have been eligible to apply for entry to the general Service and most of the Departmental classes since the 1930s, and almost half the entry to the executive officer grade at this time are women. The hon. Gentleman may like to know also that the proportion of women who gain entry into the executive officer grade is slightly higher than the proportion of women who have the educational qualifications for entry to that grade. This is evidence of free opportunity for entry into the Service. The situation is broadly similar for other groups in the Service. Women have represented an increasing proportion of successful applications for entry into what used to be known as the assistant principal grade, that is, the basic grade in the former Administrative Class. Last year 30.5 per cent. of the successful applicants for the Assistant Principal entry were women. That proportion was slightly higher than the proportion of women graduating in the previous year. Therefore, any allegation of bias in recruitment for the Civil Service can be firmly refuted by the evidence.

The evidence available to us on promotion has not led us to the conclusion that there is discrimination against women. More women than men tend to decline promotion, particularly where it involves a move and they cannot, for example, for domestic reasons, meet that obligation. The fact that the proportion of women to men becomes smaller in the higher grades of the Service is explained by the fact that a higher proportion of women leave the Service for personal reasons. So a case cannot be made out for saying that the system of recruitment and promotion as a whole reflects a bias against them.

The hon. Gentleman referred specifically to the Diplomatic Service. There has been a woman British Ambassador, Dame Barbara Salt who was appointed to be Ambassador to Israel, but unfortunately was too ill to take up her appointment. Therefore, it is not strictly true to say that there has never been a British woman Ambassador.

I am not sure where the hon. Gentleman got his figures for the numbers of women in the senior reaches of the diplomatic service. Mine are that there are two Consuls-General, five Counsellors, 48 First Secretaries and 86 Second Secretaries, making a total of 141 women. That gives a rather fairer picture of the situation.

I believe that this picture shows that, while as a matter of indisputable fact the vast majority of higher posts in the home Civil Service and the Diplomatic Service are filled by men, that is in no way because of conscious or deliberate discrimination nor because there is bias in the promotion ladder. It is simply that women decline promotion, that they leave for various reasons, such as to get married, or that a smaller number of women come forward in the first place who wish of their own accord to involve themselves in the higher posts.

The terms and conditions of employment of women in the non-industrial Civil Service since 1946 have been the same as for men. Since 1962 women have had equal pay.

There is absolutely no distinction within the Civil Service between men and women for either Civil Service or external training courses. Both boys and girls have the same opportunities for attending the day-release courses.

There is no discrimination on pensions. I agree with the hon. Gentleman about transferability. We recognise that that is very important, and obviously it is included in the general review of superannuation in the Civil Service which is now going on. But there is no difference, except that women who resign for reasons connected with their marriage can, if they subsequently return to the Service, count their previous service towards their pension. No one else can do that, so if a difference exists it is on the side of women in this case.

In the past some allowances have discriminated against women in money terms. One of these discriminations, on removal expenses, has been ended, and the others are all being reviewed.

The allegation of discrimination in the Civil Service does not stand up, when we examine the record, the situation and the kind of jobs from which women are now excluded. But I repeat that we are never satisfied that the traditions and assumptions of one period necessarily are valid in the next. Therefore, the matter is under constant review. Moreover, last summer the Committee on the Employment of Women in the Civil Service was set up, with far-reaching terms of reference. It is now at work, intends to produce a report in the, I hope, fairly near future, which I believe will be a valuable guide to us on these matters.

Even in some of the areas where at first glance it might appear that the heavy or rough work criterion rules out the employment of women, we are keeping the posts concerned under review. If women wish to take on such work, even though they are aware of the problems and difficulties, and if it is judged that it is a reasonable line for the Civil Service as the employer to take, all question of exclusion or restriction will be lifted.

In short, the picture we can present in the Civil Service is of an organisation which is taking the lead, which is setting the example. I believe that in the future—indeed, it would be quite unacceptable if it were otherwise—women will provide a growing share of the talent and ability of the Civil Service.

Mr. Bishop

I am grateful for what the hon. Gentleman has said, and I am glad that his general line has been in keeping with his party's manifesto, of which I approve on the need to get rid of discrimination, regardless of what his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) says. How soon may we expect to see a charter of rights for women in the Civil Service? This is what I think many people are awaiting anxiously.

Mr. Howell

Nothing in the way of a charter or rights is planned, but when the report from the Committee is received by the Government we shall consider whether to publish it, depending on our judgment of its value and the value of publishing it, and that will obviously carry us forward. But we do not see any great value in charters. Charters can be written ad nauseam; the main thing is to create a situation in which opportunities are available and talent is used, whether of men or of women.

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