HC Deb 22 July 1941 vol 373 cc811-2W
Mr. Boyce

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will issue instructions that women engaged in the food distributive trade shall be considered as already engaged in work of 100 per cent. National importance, and that they should therefore be permitted to remain in their present positions?

Mr. Bevin

The need for women in vital war industries and in the women's services is so great that I am forced to take every step to transfer the young women in the age groups now being registered from work that is not of urgent national importance. The retail distributive trades must make their contribution and in many cases they can employ older and married women. At the same time I recognise the special position of the food distributive trade and I have, therefore, arranged with my Noble Friend the Minister of Food for close consultation between local food offices and my local offices where food shops are concerned.

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