HC Deb 22 October 1942 vol 383 cc2116-7W
Sir E. Graham - Little

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the sharp rise in young women of the incidence of tuberculosis and the increase in frequency of accidents, 90 per cent., constituting a sex differentiation calling for remedy, his attention has been drawn to the statement contained in the report just published of his Chief Inspector of Factories, that women called up to work in factories while responsible for managing their own homes are trying to do two full-time jobs; and whether he will institute an immediate inquiry into this position?

Mr. Bevin

A special Committee of the Medical Research Council has just investigated the extent and causes of the war time increase in the incidence of tuberculosis and has made various recommendations, reporting at the same time that the increase in deaths from that disease since the beginning of the war has not been predominantly among young women, as seemed likely early in the war. Explanations and remedies for the increase in accidents among adult women are discussed in the just published annual report of the Chief Inspector of Factories where the main causes of the increase are stated to be the increased number of women employed and their more extensive employment in dangerous industries. I am well aware that many women with domestic responsibilities are unable to give full attention to these and also to work consistently for the full hours of the factory where they are employed, and it is for this reason that I am encouraging part-time employment or the giving of some time off for shopping and so on in appropriate cases. In view of the above, I see no reason to institute a special inquiry now into the matters referred to in the Question.