Local Authorities (Women Employees).

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 5th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give an assurance that women, trained by local authorities to take the place of men called up for service in the Forces, will not similarly be called up while in local government service?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

No, Sir. In agreement with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, I have decided that the question of the withdrawal of women in the service of local authorities shall be determined by the nature of the work upon which they are employed. In considering, however, the rate at which such withdrawals shall be effected, regard will be had to the extent to which replacements of men by women have taken place.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

In view of the large amount of essential war work that has been delegated to local authorities, will my right hon. Friend agree that the local authorities in the matter of staff should receive as favourable treatment as the Civil Service?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I cannot settle it on any precise basis. The method which has been employed is, in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, who is in constant touch with the local authorities, to deal with each case on its merits. Local authorities differ considerably according to population and area, on the amount of work that has to be performed.

Photo of Sir John Mellor Sir John Mellor , Tamworth

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the representative associations of local authorities are very anxious about this matter?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I understand that everybody is anxious about the matter.