HC Deb 15 February 1940 vol 357 cc923-4
9. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the decision to mobilise 1,000,000 women to assist in our war efforts, any training facilities are being provided to ensure that suitable women will be equipped to act as administrators, forewomen, and supervisors; and, if not, when he proposes to take the necessary steps to provide trained personnel?

Mr. Brown

Training is a question in which industry is very closely concerned, and I am at present discussing with representatives of the industries mainly affected the whole question of training, along with other matters connected with the supply of personnel.

Miss Ward

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it would be well, and very acceptable, if he would also discuss the question with representatives of women?

Mr. Brown

Some of the trade unions, with large numbers of women members, will have to consider the interests of women. I am always ready to meet representative bodies of workers either men or women. I hope the hon. Lady used the word "mobilises" here with great care.

Mr. Thorne

Has the right hon. Gentleman had any consultation with women's organisations with regard to this matter?

Mr. Brown

At the moment, no. We are discussing it only with the engineering group.

Mr. Kirkwood

Will the Minister see that before women are brought into engineering or shipbuilding all the unemployed men in those industries are employed?

Mr. Brown

It can be taken for granted that that will be borne in mind during the discussions.