HC Deb 10 December 1919 vol 122 cc1285-6
6. Commander Viscount CURZON

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any women were now employed by the Admiralty for the discharge of duties formerly carried out by the Women's Royal Naval Service; if so, how many of those women formerly belonged to the Women's Royal Naval Service; by whom were they administered; whether it was intended to continue their employment; and under what Vote their rates of pay could be found?


From reports received up to date, 632 ex-Women's Royal Naval Service ratings have been re-entered on a civilian basis. Of these sixty-eight have been discharged. The number at present known to be serving is, therefore, 564. As regards administration, they are dealt with similarly to other civilian staff in Admiralty service, and it is intended to continue their employment so long as their services are required for the particular work on which they are engaged. In the great majority of cases the employment is purely temporary, and, where practicable, ex-Service men are being substituted. Most of the women in question are employed on Fleet Services at Royal Naval Barracks and Naval Bases, as clerks, typists, messengers, charwomen, etc. Their pay is chargeable to Vote, 4, B.

Viscount CURZON

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that considerable dissatisfaction has been caused in the Fleet by the retaining of these ladies on duties which might be carried out by ex-Service men?


I have already had my attention called to that, and taken what steps are practicable to secure the carrying out of what I have said in the answer. In the great majority of cases, where practicable, ex-Service men are employed.


Will you say what steps you are taking?


The Board is issuing instructions in particular cases.