HC Deb 15 February 1940 vol 357 cc922-3
3. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Labour whether any categories of retail distributive workers are included in the list of reserved occupations; and, if not, will he include the most important in a revised list, so that the work of distributing food to the people may be conducted smoothly?

Mr. E. Brown

Women in the retail distributive trades are reserved at the age of 25. In general, men workers in these trades are not reserved, but I have recently had discussions with representatives of the trades and have informed them that, when the time approaches for calling up men aged 30 for military service, entries in the Schedule of Reserved Occupations will be made in respect of certain of the more important occupations, provided that conditions have not materially changed in the meantime.

Mr. Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to bear in mind that, with the introduction of rationing of foodstuffs, the tasks of some of these men have become extremely onerous?

Mr. Brown

Yes, I understand that that is so, especially for men in a managerial capacity.