HC Deb 08 February 1945 vol 407 cc2250-1W
Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Minister of Agriculture what are the total numbers of the W.L.A. in England and Wales and in Scotland, respectively; what is the net monthly loss in membership; by how much does the monthly intake fall short of requirements; and what is the reason for the increasing loss of membership and fall in recruitment.

Mr. Hudson

The enrolled strength of the Women's Land Army on 31st January, 1945, was 64,551 in England and Wales, and 7,972 in Scotland, and the reductions in membership in January were 1,610 and 235 respectively. It is estimated that the present rate of intake is inadequate by fully 50 per cent. for immediate requirements, and the deficiency will become greater as farmers' needs increase in the spring. The continued reduction in membership is largely due to the low rate of recruitment, which is attributable mainly to the general man-power position.