HC Deb 08 June 1944 vol 400 cc1500-1
32. Sir P. Hannon

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has given further consideration to the increase in the strength of the women police force with the object of securing increased vigilance for the promotion of public morality and the safeguarding of women and especially young girls against the dangers to which they are exposed in our cities and congested industrial areas.

Mr. H. Morrison

As I explained in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) on 6th April, I have called the attention of police authorities and chief constables throughout England and Wales to the need for an adequate number of policewomen in those parts of the country where large numbers of troops are concentrated. As a result, proposals for the appointment of extra women for police work have now been submitted by many police authorities, and I have already approved a substantial number of new posts. The difficulties of finding women suitable for these appointments are, however, proving to be serious, and although all possible steps are being taken, it is unfortunately clear that there is no immediate prospect of its being possible to fill all the new posts.

Sir P. Hannon

How many local authorities have complied with the right hon. Gentleman's proposals?

Mr. Morrison

I think on the whole the response has been satisfactory.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Are any local authorities still holding aloof?

Mr. Morrison

I could not say without notice.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Does not the necessity for protection also extend to the male sex?

Mr. S. O. Davies

Would the right hon. Gentleman make representations to his colleague the Minister of Labour, in favour of not withdrawing women, who have served very well in the Women's Auxiliary Police, for other forms of labour?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir, we are constantly in touch with the Minister of Labour on this problem.