Women Volunteers.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 22nd January 1942.

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Photo of Mr Ian Hannah Mr Ian Hannah , Wolverhampton Bilston

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the discontent among women volunteers because they are sent to places distant from their homes, despite promises of being placed as near home as possible; and whether, in the case of those posted to far-off camps, he will favourably consider applications for a transfer to places nearer their homes?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I am not aware of any general discontent on this ground among women volunteers. Any question of the transfer of a member of the Forces rests with the Service Minister concerned, and not with me.

Photo of Mr Ian Hannah Mr Ian Hannah , Wolverhampton Bilston

Is the Minister aware that I have received letters from all over the country concerning girls who have been sent far from their homes, and who feel that to be a very real grievance?

Photo of Mr Campbell Stephen Mr Campbell Stephen , Glasgow Camlachie

Is the Minister not aware that there is great discontent about Scottish girls being sent to England?

Photo of Mr Robert Taylor Mr Robert Taylor , Morpeth

Is the Minister aware that there is considerable complaint about girls being sent from some parts of England or Wales?

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that there is a difference between volunteers in the Auxiliary Services, to whom his answer refers, and to volunteers for munitions work? I have had many complaints about volunteers for munitions work being sent so far away. Why does the reply deal only with volunteers in the Auxiliary Services?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

Because that is the subject about which I was asked. All the other supplementary questions deal with another subject. If particulars are sent to me about undue hardship, I will look into them; but I must make this perfectly clear—I must get mobile women to send away to meet the requirements of the war industries.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelly

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that certain firms have notified women employed on their staffs that if they volunteer for the Auxiliary Forces and leave their employment before they are called up they will lose their rights of reinstatement after the war, and will be further penalised inasmuch as their Service pay will not be made up to their civilian pay; and whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

If my hon. Friend will let me have details of any case he has in mind, I shall be glad to have an investigation made into the facts.