HC Deb 20 April 1939 vol 346 cc465-6
3. Mr. Liddall

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that there is plenty of well-paid and well-treated domestic employment awaiting women and girls all over the country; whether he has taken further steps to secure that some of the 400,000 unemployed women and girls may be induced to accept employment awaiting them; and, as training centres and Employment Exchanges have failed to supply the demand by drawing on these unemployed women and girls, whether he will ask trade union leaders to help him to find a remedy?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware of this problem, the essential difficulties of which are widely recognised and are not confined to this country. I am anxious to consider suggestions for a solution from whatever source. As regards the suggestion at the end of the question, my hon. Friend should know that I recently received a deputation from the Trades Union Congress on this subject at which they made a proposal for an inquiry into the conditions of domestic service. I did not, however, feel that such an inquiry at the present time would really serve a useful purpose. I would add that opportunities for domestic employment and training are brought to the notice of all apparently suitable applicants on the register of the Employment Exchanges.

Mr. Liddall

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider setting up a national women's service board to be run on pretty much the same lines as the Milk Marketing Board in order to produce grade A women?

Mr. Lawson

Will the right hon. Gentleman request the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. Liddall) to use his influence with potential employers to support the Domestic Servants' Union so that domestic servants can be protected against the cheap-minded and inconsiderate employer?

Mr. Brown

I am obliged to the hon. Member for raising that issue. It is an interesting fact in the light of the question that for the first time the Trades Union Congress has accepted responsibility for forming this union in order to help domestic servants.

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