HC Deb 31 July 1941 vol 373 c1507
6. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that many women, above the registration age, are deterred from seeking work through the Employment Exchanges from fear that they will be sent considerable distances from their homes; and will he consider permitting them to volunteer direct to local factories engaged on war production?

Mr. Bevin

I am not aware that such a feeling exists amongst women of the age referred to. Those women who desire to offer their services for local work should notify their nearest Employment Exchange, where full account will be taken of their wishes. I am not prepared to nullify the Restriction of Engagement Order by allowing direct application to factories.

Mr. Lipson

In view of the desirability of getting older women into munition factories to replace men, would not the right hon. Gentleman try an experimental period of allowing employers to engage them direct, or them to seek employment direct, to see whether the results justify the step?

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir. Directly I tampered with the Restriction of Engagement Order, I should get right back to the chaos from which this House desired that I should emerge.