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This letter to the Leader of the House from Lords Clerk Victor Goodman in 1962 covers subjects including whether women peers should wear hats (remarking 'You will, however, have noticed that all the Life Peeresses have recently given up wearing hats in the House') and what they should be called, suggesting 'Lady Members of the House'. The Leader's annotation in the margin reads, 'My own view is that on this s/what delicate matter they might be allowed and have their own way.'
Leader of the House
I attach a note from the files which I think was drawn by Lascelles. It seems to cover most of the ground, but I am making further investigation.
LADY MEMEBERS OF THE HOUSE WEARING HATS
I think that the words “except by permission of the House” in standing Order 24 lets them out in regard to wearing a hat.I do not think that Standing Order needs amending. You will, however, have noticed that all the Life Peeresses have recently given up wearing hats in the House.
DESIGNATION OF LADY MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE
I prefer “Life Baronesses” but, of course, if one day Peeresses in their own right are admitted and if all the ladies want to share a private room the notice on the door would obviously apply to Peeresses other than Baronesses. Perhaps in that case they could call themselves “Lady Members of the House”.
[ My own view is that on this s/what delicate matter they might be allowed and have their own way.]
Victor Goodman (signed)
29th November, 1962
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