HC Deb 17 January 1940 vol 356 cc114-5
18. Miss Rathbone

asked the Minister of Supply whether, in order to avoid the waste of time which occurred in the last war before substitute labour could be trained for employment in skilled processes, he will arrange, in consultation with the Ministry of Labour, or through firms contracting for the Government, for the training of women in skilled processes for which their labour may be required at later stages in the war?

Colonel Llewellin

Discussions are taking place between representatives of the employers and workpeople on certain aspects in regard to the employment of women in industry, and the hon. Member may be asured that both the Government and the industry will give full attention to the provision of any training facilities that may prove to be necessary.

Miss Rathbone

Is the Minister aware that not only substitute women's labour but the substitute labour of men is affected; and is he really satisfied that it is safe to put off the training of workers in highly skilled processes until there is an actual shortage of labour in those processes?

Colonel Llewellin

I realise that this applies to men and to women, but it is necessary in any system of training of this sort to carry both employers and representatives of the workpeople along with the Government in any action which is taken.