HC Deb 31 January 1940 vol 356 cc1116-7
6. Sir Francis Fremantle

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will consider the advisability of appointing a senior woman medical officer to assist in meeting the needs of the large numbers of women employed uncle his Department?

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Kingsley Wood)

The services of the Royal Air Force medical organisation are available for the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and the question of appointing women medical officers at stations where large numbers of Women's Auxiliary Air Force personnel are posted is under consideration. It is not at present considered necessary to appoint a senior woman medical officer.

Sir F. Fremantle

Would it not be advisable, when junior women medical officers have been appointed, that a senior woman medical officer should also be appointed and would not this assist the right hon. Gentleman in deciding what is best from the female point of view?

Sir K. Wood

I will examine the matter when the question of this other personnel is being considered.

Dr. Edith Summerskill

Will the Minister assure the House that he will give favourable consideration to this matter, because there are certain diseases from which women suffer and for which it is very important, during war time, that there should be full information, and these women are reluctant to approach a male medical officer? I think it is in the interests of the Royal Air Force that these women doctors should be appointed.

Sir K. Wood

I will, of course, take the question into consideration, but I hope the matter will be met by the appointment of women medical officers at the various stations.