HC Deb 07 August 1941 vol 373 cc2070-1
7. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Minister of Labour what is the position of girls of calling-up age who have entered employment in civilian occupations to release men for more urgent services; and whether they will be regarded as reserved or not?

Mr. Bevin

Whilst I recognise that special consideration must be given to cases where a woman has been taken on and trained specifically to replace a man released for more urgent services, it is not possible to give an unqualified assurance that such women will not be asked to transfer if within the registered age groups. If her domestic circumstances render her free to take employment wherever her services are required, she may be asked to transfer if suitable arrangements can be made for her to be replaced by an older woman.

Sir T. Moore

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that shops and industries not engaged in war production are finding the position very difficult in view of the calling up of men and women, and will he endeavour to ease the position as far as possible?

Mr. Bevin

I have given definite instructions to exercise care. I would ask those engaged in those trades to pay special attention at this stage of the manpower problem, to the employment of elder women in order that younger women nay be released for transfer to other work f necessary, sometimes in other areas.

Mr. Cocks

Are we to understand that, f arrangements. cannot be made to substitute older women, they will not be transferred?

Mr. Bevin

I cannot give that assurance. The urgency of war production must be the guiding principle.