Joyce Butler: Tape One

Scope and Content

Joyce Butler born 13 Dec 1910 in Birmingham. Talks about siblings, grandparents and parents: father, a photographer. Quaker background. Attended King Edwards High School in Birmingham; Woodbrook College, taking International diploma. Secretarial work after college. Joined Labour Party; influence of Left Book Club. Experiences of Second World War. Met and married husband during war via Labour Party. Rejected pacifist beliefs: left Society of Friends. Birth of son and daughter. Husband's work with Co-Operative Movement (Co-Op) and in local government. 1947: Joyce Butler became a member of Wood Green Council (WGC) concentrating on Housing and Town Planning. Problems for WGC included high-rise housing and National Health Service. 1954, became Leader of WGC. Became MP for Wood Green, 1955 with the Co-Op Movement and Labour Party. Husband's failed attempt as a candidate in Rutland and Stamford: became Mayor of Haringey. Joyce Butler's life as MP: dealt with problems of housing and sex discrimination. Influenced Willie Hamilton, hence Sex Discrimination Act of 1975. Mentions Barbara Castle, Joan Vickers and Irene Ward. Dealings with Ministry of Agriculture re environmental issues. Politics and family life. Talks about women in Parliament: liasing with Co-Op MPs. Joyce Butler briefly served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Fred Willey, Minister for Land and Natural Resources. Rent Act of 1957. On Chairman's Panel of the House of Commons. Joint Chairman of Parliamentary Committee for Pollution; Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party. Success in campaigns: Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts, environmental issues. Women in local and national government.