HC Deb 04 May 1916 vol 82 cc119-20
36. Mr. CLYNES

asked the Minister of Munitions whether he is aware that employers whose men are engaged on private and non-munition work are requested by representatives of his Department to discontinue the service of men and employ women workers; whether any official announcement has been made by his Department to sanction such action; whether the object of displacing male labour in these cases is to secure men for work on munitions or for enlistment in the Army; and whether such men who are now being stopped on private work have any assurance of returning to their places after the end of the War?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. My right hon. Friends the Home Secretary and the President of the Board of Trade have issued an appeal to employers in the manufacturing industries to make good the loss of labour caused by the withdrawal of men for the forces by the employment of women as temporary substitutes. This appeal is being followed up by the officers of both Departments, assisted by local committees set up by the Board of Trade in various centres. I am sending to my hon. Friend a copy of the appeal referred to, from which he will see that the object is not to cause a displacement of male labour, but to fill the gaps in industry which already exist or which will inevitably occur.