HC Deb 17 February 1944 vol 397 cc322-3
17. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to encourage the employment of women police in view of the small number now in the force and the urgent need for an increase under war conditions.

Mr. H. Morrison

I am anxious to encourage the employment of policewomen in all areas where there is a need for them, and my Department is doing everything it can with a view to increasing their numbers. As my hon. Friend will appreciate, the problem presents considerable difficulties in present circumstances, but I am not without hope that I shall be able to find some scheme for increasing temporarily at any rate the number of women police for employment in areas where special problems exist.

Mr. Mander

Is the Minister not aware that there are still a number of areas where no women police are employed at all, or other than a very small number, and will he use his great persuasive powers to increase them?

Mr. Morrison

The answer to both questions is in the affirmative.

Miss Rathbone

Cannot something stronger than persuasion be used?

Mr. Morrison

It would be very nice if I could employ magic, but I have not reached those heights yet.

Mr. Thorne

Can the Minister say what is the number of women police employed throughout the country?

Mr. Morrison

Not without notice.