HC Deb 08 September 1942 vol 383 cc68-9W
Mr. Kirby

asked the Home Secretary (1) whether he has considered a letter, dated the 26th August, 1942, from the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, in which the chamber expresses its considered view that the employment of women as fire-guards during black-out periods in the central and dock areas of the city would be dangerous; and whether he will reconsider his proposals in this regard;

(2) whether he has considered the representations made by the City of Liverpool's Defence Committee, which were unanimously approved by the city council on the 2nd September, 1942, relating to compulsory enrolment of women as firewatchers; whether he is aware that the council views with the most serious apprehension the employment of women on such dangerous duties in the dock and central areas of the city; whether he intends to introduce a system of equal compensation for injuries to both men and women engaged on equal duties with equal risks; and will he, before he enforces his new Order, meet the Liverpool Members of Parliament to discuss ways and means of procuring additional male watchers for the dock and central areas and restricting the employment of women watchers to the outer and safer areas?

Miss Wilkinson

My right hon. Friend has received the representations referred to from the city of Liverpool and the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. Whilst my right hon. Friend cannot undertake to postpone the operation of the new Orders, he will certainly discuss with the Liverpool Members of Parliament the problems referred to in these Questions.

Mr. Kirby

asked the Home Secretary whether he will suspend the operation of his Compulsory Enrolment Order and Business Premises Order No. 2 until such time as Parliament shall approve the employment of women as firewatchers and determine the areas in which they shall perform such duties?

Mr. H. Morrison

I would refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to similar Questions to-day by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary.

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