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Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1967.

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Photo of Miss Joan Vickers Miss Joan Vickers , Plymouth, Devonport 12:00 am, 23rd January 1967

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will give the reason for an advertisement for a Library Clerk for the International. Affairs Desk which stated that the post was open to both men and women, but that preference might be given to men; and whether he will have this notice withdrawn and re-inserted without this qualification before the closing date on 6th February.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

I have been asked to reply.

In 1950 there was only one female in the senior grade and the proportion for the total staff was 14 men to 5 women.

At the present time over half the total Library staff are women, including all the junior Library Clerks. It is therefore desired to recruit a male junior Library Clerk who is more likely to make the Library his permanent career than any of the female staff, all of whom are under 28.

Photo of Miss Joan Vickers Miss Joan Vickers , Plymouth, Devonport

May I ask the hon. Gentleman, whether with a view to the efficient manning of the Library, he will consider all future appointments on merit, other than on sex, or is he considering running a marriage bureau in the Library service?

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

I have every sympathy with the hon. Lady's point of view, but she will appreciate that the position today is a great deal better than it was a few years ago. On the other hand, she will also appreciate that, in view of the Parliamentary experience and special knowledge required in the Library, a hard core of permanent senior staff must be retained.