HC Deb 04 February 1943 vol 386 cc1050-1
48. Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

asked the Minister of Agriculture the limitations to the enrolment in the Women's Land Army of women with knowledge of, and employment in, agriculture; and the reasons of these limitations?

50. Mrs. Cazalet Keir

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will reconsider the decision which makes it impossible for women who have worked for six months on the land to join the Women's Land Army?

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. R. S. Hudson)

The purpose of the Women's Land Army is to recruit and place in agriculture an additional force of mobile women workers and to regulate their accommodation, conditions of employment and general welfare. An organisation of that kind is not necessary for women who have already established themselves in agricultural employment, or for those who can only work near their own homes. Consequently, volunteers are not normally accepted for the Land Army if they have already been working in the industry for six months or more, or if they cannot offer mobile service.

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

Is the Minister aware that the women who are working on the land at the present time who know they cannot get into the Women's Land Army in many cases go into other industries, and the land has lost their services? Will he consider opening the Women's Land Army to women who know agriculture, as those who go in often do not know anything about it at all?

Mr. Hudson

No, Sir, I have stated the reasons why I cannot do that.

Captain Poole

Is the Minister aware that if he will give better amenities and conditions, he will solve the problem of recruitment?