HC Deb 25 February 1918 vol 103 c1119W

asked the Minister of Munitions if he is aware that there is a considerable amount of discontent and unrest at the aeroplane works of J. S. White and Company, at Northwood, caused by certain of the workmen, including A.R.M.W., being ordered by a foreman to sharpen and put in order tools used by women workers at these works, and that the A.R.M.W. have been told that if they refuse to do this they will be returned to the Army; and whether A.R.M.W. can be compelled to do something that the ordinary workmen refused to do?


I presume that the hon. Member's question refers to the firm of J. S. White and Company, of Cowes. If so, no complaint on the subject appears to have been received by the Ministry. I may say, however, that no firm has any power to return any Army Reserve munition workers to the Army, and the Ministry take the strongest possible exception to any threats of the nature suggested being made by employers or their agents. With regard to the last part of the question, an Army Reserve munitions worker is employed under entirely civilian conditions, and cannot, therefore, be compelled by his employers to do anything that ordinary workmen cannot be asked to do. Inquiries are being made in the matter generally.