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Public Appointments

Volume 888: debated on Monday 17 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she keeps a list of possible nominees for public bodies and committees to which she is entitled to nominate; how many names are now before her; and how many of them are women.

In making public appointments I try to secure the people best fitted for the particular jobs, though I agree with my hon. Friend that in the past we have not made sufficient use of women of ability. Our records are constantly being updated so that there is not, at any one time, a settled total of names, and I am always glad to hear of new ones.The Women's National Commission has recently developed with the Civil Service Department a new nomination form for women who want to put themselves forward for appointment to public bodies. I hope this will enable women to give a more comprehensive description of the contribution they feel they can make and will encourage more women to come forward.As co-chairman of the Women's National Commission I have written to my Cabinet colleagues asking them to bear the claims of women in mind in making public appointments.