Engineering Industry (Women Workers).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 7th May 1940.

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Photo of Sir Joseph Leech Sir Joseph Leech , Newcastle upon Tyne West

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the failure of the engineering unions, after prolonged discussion, to reach an agreement about dilution by women workers and about terms of their employment and training, has retarded the war effort; and will he now appoint an all-party committee of this House to confer with the leaders of the unions so that aeroplane and munitions production may be proceeded with?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

It is not the case that the trade unions have failed to reach agreement with the employers' organisation on this subject. On the contrary the discussions between them have reached an advanced stage, and I feel sure that the urgency of the matter is fully realised. In these circumstances I do not think that reference to a Committee of this House would be likely to facilitate progress.

Viscountess Astor:

Does not my right hon. Friend think that that ought to have been done six months ago?