Page 4, 10th August 1945

10th August 1945
Page 4
Page 4, 10th August 1945 — Feminine ForumI CONWAY I THE new women I4.P.s are evi

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Feminine ForumI CONWAY I THE new women I4.P.s are evi

dently going to make the House sit up " if they don't get their mot way. You should have heard Mrs. Braddock, the new Member for the Exchange Division of Liverpool, when she talked to about a thousand of us in Central Hall, Westminster, the night before Parliament opened. There is something Amazonian about Mrs, Braddock Her voice is such that she spurns the microphone, and I only hope that the chastening influence of the House of Commons does not dampen down that tine frenzy she feels when she talks about overcrowding, She is quite aggressively " working-class " (aren't we all ?) and I noticed that she drew a distinction between them and professional women. She wore a severe navy suit; her hair was scrarod back from a broad, intelligent forehead and she stands foursquare to the world The " workingclass wi;1 lend a great champion in her—though in a Lebow Government we must assume they have that already.

Another new Member—who has been at Westminster before—was Mrs. Leah Manning and she. too, belongs in the Amazonian class. She was at one time president of the National Union of Teachers—and, judging tiom her speech, she hates to see the outside world deprived of the brains and energy of married women and is out to fight all taboos in that direction.

Lady Noel Buxton was thererhother of six children—and the part of her speech that won her the biggest applause was that in which she said that "as the position of women goes up the position of .war inevitably goes down." Dr. Edith Surnmerskill, slim, smart and elegant in black, got a big greeting when she came on to the platform just as Mrs Braddock was beginning to speak. She has a perfect platform mannee holds the microphone gently and speaks into it in a quiet. conversational tone. She it was who drew our attention to Mr. Pethick Lawrence sitting just behind her, saying that it was because of his wife and himself and all the other staiwarts of the suffrage campaign that women were now going to Westminster. " Let the young women never forget them," she said. Mr. Pethick Lawrence sat with his hand over his eyes for a good part of the meeting as though he was conjuring up the past—those dee:, of struggle and unpopularity when the moral support he gave to 'his gallan wife must have meant so much—not only to her but

the whole movement'. Miss Eleanor Rathbone's fate was still hanging in the balance—hut she must have known that the great tighter for family allowances would neve' have been beaten at the

She gave the new Members a thought to take with them: "Before you have been in the House very long you'll find you are representing two constituencies—riot one." she said. "Your own and the women 6f Great Britain."

* • * EARLIER in the 'afternoon I went " to a mess conference to hear about the relief work that had been done in Givece and in Holland by the first team of the Guides' International Service (Girl Guides). Strange to say. there were no Catholic girls in either

team. Of course. the young Guides

don't go on these expeditions. Miss

Jarman, who was in charge of the team in Greece, told us that news of their arrival there caused consternation to the Colonel who came to see them. " Oh !" he exclaimed in tones of res lief, " I thought Girl Guides were all about fourteen, and I was worried !"

This team went right into E.L.A.S. erritory. taking food and clothes, and I think I must tell you Miss Jarman's story of the Black coat. Though they were dressed in rags and tatters and bits of sacking tied with pieces of string, the peasants, once the clothing began to be distributed, were very clear about what they wanted. They prefer black to anything else (like many women in the East) and when the mother of a family bad been given a blue coat she departed rather reluctantly. (The black coats were all too big.) Soon after, the small boy of the family came back crying, carrying the coat and saying that his mother wanted a black one. They said, No, and sent him on his way. Later a small girl came carrying the coat and asking fcw a black one instead. She was given a sweet and fold to go away. for they were busy. Lastly, the nusband arrived with the coat saying in careful English, " My wife widow—must have black coat !" He got, it. "By tbat time we cohsidered they had earned it," Miss Jarman said.

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