HC Deb 06 March 1941 vol 369 cc992-3
4. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the large numbers of young women who have left areas which have been subjected to enemy attack and who are now living in idleness in towns and villages in districts regarded as comparatively safe; whether steps can be taken to recruit these unemployed young women for munitions production; and whether he will use his powers to prevent the demoralisation of those women who should be employed in the service of their country?

Mr. Bevin

These women and girls, if previously in employment, are in general registered at the Employment Exchanges and my information is that the numbers remaining unemployed are quickly reduced by means of the arrangements made in that connection. Those who have not hitherto been wage earners present a more difficult problem and my hon. Friend perhaps has them principally in mind; I have asked them to register the offer of their services and if necessary such action will be supplemented in due course by registration orders.

Sir P. Hannon

The women I have in mind are those referred to in the latter part of the Minister's reply. Will he take definite action in that direction?

Mr. Bevin

Yes. I have already announced to the House recently the steps I propose to take, and the work preparatory to taking those steps is now going on.