Media: 1929: One woman's view of parliament

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The Independent Culture
Excerpts from the first `The Week in Westminster' on 6 November 1929, presented by Mary Agnes Hamilton MP

I AM still apt to lose my way in the maze-like passages of St Stephens; there are still a number of faces, and more names and constituencies I do not know. But the sense of strangeness is being replaced by the sense of being a very small part of a very big and active workshop.

True, one has to learn to work in quite a new way - as part of a team. Often you help your team more by keeping silent than by talking; there is altogether more thinking required of one, and less talking, than I had expected. But there are very real thrills in belonging to a team which is trying, to the best of its ability, to serve the nation.

Last Tuesday there was a great crowd. Loud cheers broke out when Mr Snowden came in, leaning on his two sticks, and Mr Henderson, since members wanted to express what they felt about their great work at The Hague and at Geneva...

None of these cheers was as loud as that which broke from the House on Monday when the Prime Minister reappeared for the first time since his peace mission to the United States and Canada which has cleared away the cloud of misunderstanding that was gathering between us and America and paved the way for a real forward step in disarmament.

Miss Susan Lawrence, who wound up the debate, is unusually tall - so is Lady Cynthia Mosley, who made a charming maiden speech. Next day, Friday, at Question Time, the tall were replaced by the tiny; first Margaret Bondfield, like a gallant little robin; then Mr Wedgewood Benn, the Secretary for India, got up to make the statement about India - that it is to be given dominion status - which brought Mr Lloyd George, another of the very small men, to his feet.