§ Mr. Donohoe
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures his Department has implemented during the last 12 months to encourage the 279W promotion of women into senior positions with his Department and its executive agencies; and what progress his Department has made in encouraging the promotion of women over the last five years. 
§ Mr. Boswell
The Ministry has in place a programme of action for women and is a member of Opportunity 2000. Each of MAFF's executive agencies also either has a programme in place or will be implementing one shortly. Promotion is entirely on merit. While there have been limited opportunities for promotion for all staff over the last 12 months in both the Ministry and its agencies, more women are entering the senior grades and progress over the last five years has been steady.
Total women in grades SEO—Grade 1 in MAFF and its agencies as at 1 April 1990 and 1 April 1995 Grade 1990 1995 1 0 0 2 0 1 3 1 1 4 0 0 5 8 11 6 10 22 7 113 226 SEO 119.5 187 Total 251.5 448