HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 c24
46. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Minister of Labour how many working women there are with children under five years of age; and what hours they work.

Mr. Thornton

The latest information is for 1962 when there were very approximately half a million working married women who had children under five. Of these, roughly 150,000 were working 10 hours or less a week, their average hours being about six. No information is available about the average hours of the remaining 350,000 or so married women who were working over 10 hours a week.

Mrs. Short

While thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask him whether he accepts that it is necessary to get accurate and up-to-date information in order to assess the health and educational requirements of small children whose mothers are working? Would he not undertake a research project in his Department to find up-to-date information?

Mr. Thornton

Yes. I agree that the information is very meagre, and we will certainly do what we can to get fuller and more up-to-date information.