§ Mr. Bishop
asked the Minister for the Civil Service why women are considered unsuitable for work as paperkeepers, clerical assistants and messengers in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, and as messengers in the National Debt Office and Land Registry; and if he will review these posts to allow women to undertake these tasks.
§ Mr. David Howell
As regards the first part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my center hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services on 1st March to the hon. Lady the Member for Wood Green (Mrs. Joyce Butler).
On the second part of the Question, I understand that there are three messengers in the National Debt Office; women are not employed because the duties include a certain amount of heavy work which might not be within their capacity.
On the question of the Land Registry, I told the hon. Lady the Member for Wood Green on 22nd February that for "some messenger" posts women were excluded. I should make it clear that in practice no restrictions apply except to heavy messengerial work—[Vol. 812, c. 350.]