Records of the Women for Westminster Bournemouth Branch

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The archive consists of minutes of the Bournemouth branch meetings and of the Executive Committee.

Administrative / Biographical History

Women for Westminster (1943-1949) was established in 1943. In 1940 Edith Summerskill raised the issue of women in parliament within the Six Point Group. This produced an initiative with the aim of returning 100 women to parliament. However, the war and other concerns meant that it was not until Mrs Rebecca Sieff and Teresa Billington-Greig established a committee within the Women's Publicity Planning Association (WPPA) to deal with the issue in Jan 1942 that attention was paid to this area by a single issue group. The committee eventually became an independent organisation the following year with the name of Women for Westminster. It was a non-party organisation with a number of local branches which aimed to encourage women in individual constituency parties to nominate a woman candidate, thus avoiding the hostility aroused when outside women's organisations attempted to apply pressure. Summerskill, Tate, Cazalet-Keir and Corbett Ashby were all members but the group had limited success: in 1945, out of 87 women candidates, only 12 were returned and they already held seats. Despite having 46 branches, financial problems beset the organisation, which received only £1,000 in 1946. By the end of the decade, they were under pressure to amalgamate with other organisations. They refused an approach from the Six Point Group but accepted a merger with the National Women's Citizenship Association in 1949.

Conditions Governing Access

Gift

This collection is available for research. Readers are advised to contact The Women's Library in advance of their first visit.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in Dec 1975 by Mrs Middleton.

Other Finding Aids

Fawcett Library Catalogue

Related Material

Related papers held at The Women's Library include: the papers of the national body of the Women for Westminster group, its Hampstead branch and its predecessor the Central Women's Electoral Committee, as well as those of the predecessor organisation the Central Women's Electoral Committee, are contained in the Women's Library amongst the papers of Teresa Billington-Greig (see 7TBG) while the Women's Library also holds the papers of the Women's Publicity and Planning Association (see 5WPP).