§ Mr. TOOTILL
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he will say how many women have registered up to date for war work; what are the classes of industrial or other forms of national service they have undertaken to do if called upon; can he now inform the House how many of the 100,000 women who 2014W were willing to place their services at the disposal of the Government are now so employed; will the Government absorb a larger percentage of women in suitable occupations; will he state whether he has received any complaints in regard to the few women who registered being found employment; and, if so, will he state the reason?
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. The total number of women on the War Service Register on 8th October (exclusive of those whose offers of service were ineffective for various reasons) was 58,735, distributed as follows under the trades in which they desired to give their services:—
Trade. No. Engineering … … 15,412 Dress … … 3,664 Agriculture … … 5,632 Chemicals … … 767 Food … … 476 Domestic … … 2,096 Conveyance … … 4,336 Professional … … 2,724 Commercial … … 7,471 Shop Assistants … … 2,386 All others … … 13,771
The number who had been placed in employment up to 8th October from the War Service Register was 6,175. This number is, of course, exclusive of those, amounting to about 176,000 placed in employment from the ordinary registers of the Labour Exchanges during the same period, and the latter total no doubt includes a number of women who had also placed their names on the War Service Register. The number which may ultimately be absorbed from the War Service Register will depend on the extent to which the demand can be met from the ordinary register, and in this connection I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for North Salford on 10th June. If a woman is in need of employment as distinct from desiring to offer her services, her proper course is to register her name on the ordinary register of the Exchange; and where complaints have been made as to the com-comparatively small percentage of women placed from the War Service Register, they have usually been due to misapprehension on this point.