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Transcript: Letter from Sergeant at Arms Explaining Why Females Should Not Be Pages, 1961

Letter from the Sergeant at Arms Explaining Why Females Should Not Be Pages, 1961

Joseph C. Duke

Sergeant At Arms

United States Senate

Office of the Sergeant at Arms

Washington D.C.

June 7, 1961

The Honorable Jacob K. Javits

United States Senate

Washington D.C.

Dear Senator:

As requested by Miss Maio Winkler of your staff, I am happy to send you the following comments on the question of appointing young girls as Senate pages.

While I know of no specific policy or rule which says there shall not be girl pages, I doubt very much that such an innovation would be considered by the Senate as either practicable or wise.

The type of work performed by pages, it seems to me, would preclude the employment of teen-age girls for these positions. As you know, there is a great deal of heavy, bulky material to be carried between the Capitol and the office buildings, much walking, and even running at times. I also think the hours would be too taxing on young girls—starting classes at 6:30 a.m. and often remaining on duty until late in the evening.

Too, the physical facilities of the Senate chamber and the Cloakrooms do not lend themselves to the adjustment which, in my opinion, would be necessary.

I believe that for these very practical reasons it would be inappropriate for young girls to serve as pages in the Senate.

With kind regards.


Joseph C. Duke

Sergeant at Arms