Women MPs?

by Instant Noodle

Still with October 30th, 1918, mostly Punch is concerned with the War. But there is another issue that is floating around in the back of Punch’s mind, and that is Women MPs.

Women MPs

From Punch’s Essence of Parliament, we have this snippet,

Wednesday October 23rd.- There could be no better example of the changes wrought in the house of commons by the war than the brief and businessmen like discission of Mr. Herbert Samuel’s proposal to make women eligable to Parliament. Five years ago, such a motion would have furnished an orgy of alleged humour, and been laughed out of the House. Now, it was seriously debated on both sides – save for a brief incursion by the comic Meux, who protested that the House was no fit place for a sex whom he adored – and was carried, after a couple of hours, by an overwhelming majority, in which the ci-devant Suffragists were as prominent as the others.

It may be some time yet, however, before women take their places on the floor of the house. Sir Newton Moore, whose maiden speech was appropriately devoted to this topic, reminded us that in Australia, though women had long been eligable for the House of Representatives, no woman had in fact yet secured election. In practice therefore they may gain more immediate benefit from Sir James Craig’s humbler proposal to admit them to the Strangers’ Gallery.

Humble indeed.

“No doubt in time,” says The Westminster Gazette, “we shall get used to women sitting in Parliament.” It will be interesting to note is any Member of Parliament will be gallant enough to give up his seat to a lady.