§ 75. Mr. Stephen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements are made for repair of boots and shoes and the rubber boots of members of the Women's Land Army in Scotland; and whether he will consider taking steps to secure for this service the same clothing and boot provisions as are provided for the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the Women's Royal Naval Service and the Women's Auxiliary Air Force Service?
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Allan Chapman)
Members of the Women's Land Army are expected to make their own arrangements for keeping the leather boots and shoes supplied to them in good repair until replacement is necessary. As regards rubber boots, these are repaired free of charge under arrangements that have been made by the Rubber Control with local firms throughout the country. As to the second part of the Question, a considerable range of clothing and boots suitable for work on the land, as well as supplementary clothing coupons, is issued free to members of the Women's Land Army. The Women's Land Army are civilian agricultural workers mainly employed by individual farmers. Their clothing issue is, therefore, on a basis somewhat similar to that of other civilian workers in State service, and not to that of the auxiliary services associated with the Armed Forces.
§ Mr. Stephen
Are not the Women's Land Army subject to discipline the same as the other women's Services, and should they not have the same facilities?
§ Mr. Chapman
Although the land girls are doing splendid and vital work, they are not an army in the usual acceptance of the term.
§ 76. Mr. Stephen
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the unsatisfactory conditions at the Women's Land Army Hostel, Hillhouse, Troon; that for the last six weeks the dormitory has been without firing and 1711 the beds damp and unfit to sleep in; and whether he will take steps to put this right?
§ Mr. Chapman
A complaint regarding damp mattresses was made at the end of last week. The affected mattresses were immediately replaced. Instructions have been given to provide fires in the dormitories when circumstances warrant. I am informed by the agricultural executive committee for North Ayr that conditions in general have been satisfactory since the hostel was opened in June of this year.