HC Deb 08 November 1916 vol 87 cc229-30W

asked the Minister of Munitions whether in the new-fuse factory at Woolwich Arsenal, where several thousand women are employed, there are no arrangements for paying these women except in the open air; whether it happens that these women after having worked a twelve-hour shift have to stana in the mud, and often in soaking rain, for forty-five minutes waiting their turn to be paid; whether the payment of the women working upon the day shift is made still longer and more difficult by the impossibility of lining them up in their correct order, owing to the darkness made necessary by the police regulations; and whether, seeing that these conditions will adversely effect the health of the workers and consequently the output of the factory, and in view of the fact that representations have been made on the subject to the Ministry of Munitions during the last few weeks, he has taken any action to put a stop to this condition of affairs?


The matter referred to by my hon. Friend had already been engaging the anxious attention of the Arsenal authorities. My right hon. Friend regrets the inconvenience which unfortunately has inevitably been occasioned in developing these arrangements in connection with the new fuse factory owing to the crowded state of the Arsenal. Every effort is being made by the provision of better lighting, the improved marshalling of the women, and an increase in the number of pay stations to relieve the congestion. I hope that, as a result of these measures, the conditions complained of by my hon. Friend will rapidly be removed.