HC Deb 10 August 1916 vol 85 c1213

asked the Minister of Munitions if two women named Mrs. Allen, a war widow, and Miss Dicker have been dismissed from the shell-filling factory in Middlesex for having accepted a cup of tea during working hours; if he is aware that it was formerly the practice to allow the women twenty minutes in the morning and in the afternoon for refreshments, this practice being stopped by the new manager; and, as under the present arrangements the women have in many cases to go seven hours without food, will he have an inquiry made into the provision for the welfare of the women workers at this place, and also into the complaints about the conduct of the new manager there?


I am informed that the reason for the dismissal of the two women in question was not as stated, but was due to their refusal to go to another part of the factory. Apparently it was not the practice to allow the women twenty minutes in the morning for refreshments, though at one time twenty minutes was allowed for this purpose in the afternoon. As he is aware, a Women Welfare Supervisor has been appointed at the factory to see that the women under their care do not suffer hardship from lack of rest or refreshment. I am clearly of opinion that an interval should be allowed for workers in this class of employment under the conditions prevailing in this factory, and steps are being taken to secure this.