HC Deb 10 September 1942 vol 383 cc269-70
9. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Minister of Labour in view of the essential nature of wireless sets in wartime, whether he will exempt skilled radio engineers from further call up in order that they may cope with the large number of sets requiring repairs?

Mr. Bevin

I appreciate the importance of making provision for the maintenance of wireless receiving sets. Applications for deferment in respect of wireless repairers or mechanics are granted to the extent necessary to ensure adequate servicing facilities in the locality. Men not granted deferment are either called up for the Services in their trade capacity or are transferred to other work in their own occupation.

Sir A. Knox

In view of the fact that there is a very large number of sets awaiting repair and that they may be out of order for the duration of the war, will the right hon. Gentleman not consider allowing women to be trained as engineers in order to carry on the work of repair?

Mr. Bevin

My hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that the task imposed upon me of trying to meet demands in connection with radiolocation is a very difficult one, and I cannot give any pledge as to what I can do in this field. I have to manipulate things in the general interests of the country, for the advantage both of the Services and of the community.