HC Deb 15 March 1945 vol 409 cc388-9
53. Mr. Edgar Granville

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether the leaders of the W.L.A. were consulted by him before the decision was reached not to include members of the W.L.A. in the scheme for service gratuities and business grants.

Mr. Hudson

Yes, Sir. The Government was aware of and duly considered the views of the chief administrative officers of the Women's Land Army on this subject.

Mr. Granville

Does that answer mean that the Director-General, Lady Denman, was consulted before her resignation?

Mr. Hudson

Oh, yes.

Mr. Stephen

May I ask the Minister to speak a little louder?

Dr. Edith Summerskill

At what date was the claim first made for a gratuity for women in the Land Army?

Mr. Hudson

It would be improper for me to give that information.

Dr. Summerskill

Why is it improper to tell me the truth?

Mr. Hudson

Because it is not usual for Ministers to disclose in the House the date of the representations that they make.

Mr. Granville

In view of the fact that I could not hear the right hon. Gentleman's previous answer, may I ask if Lady Denman has been consulted since she resigned?

Mr. Hudson

No, Sir.

56. Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the Government's decision to disallow gratuities to members of the W.L.A., the Government will consider the payment of a cash sum free of tax for each 12 months' service to enable members of the W.L.A. to purchase civilian clothing and generally re-establish themselves.

Mr. Hudson

If my hon. Friend will refer to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, on 8th March, he will see that the Government's decision related to the extension of financial benefits in any form.

Mr. De la Bère

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the question of fair play to the Women's Land Army cannot be lightly dismissed, and cannot be dismissed at all?

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

Were representations made at any time to provide these girls with a civilian outfit or cash allowance similar to members of the Fighting Services?

Mr. Hudson

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Butcher

Have any uniformed Services been excluded other than the Land Army?