Invasion Instruction (Women).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 25th June 1942.

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Photo of Dr Edith Summerskill Dr Edith Summerskill , Fulham West

asked the Home Secretary whether, following the publication of the leaflet "Plans for Civilian Action in Invasion," it is proposed to instruct women who are anxious to use their spare time for the purpose of learning how to be of the maximum use in the event of an invasion?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

The instruction of women in Civil Defence duties and other essential work is always in progress and would prove most valuable in the event of invasion. Other local tasks will be organised by invasion committees which will arrange training where this is necessary.

Photo of Dr Edith Summerskill Dr Edith Summerskill , Fulham West

Is the hon. Lady aware that there is no provision for the instruction of women in the country except that given by the Women's Home Defence, and further that there are now 200 Women's Home Defence units in large towns, universities and Government Departments, and does she not think it is time the Government took some official action?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

I do not think the hon. Lady is correct in saying that there is only one kind of training in this country. As a matter of fact, my right hon. Friend arranges that wherever it is possible a woman shall sit on each of these invasion committees.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is it not the duty of the local authorities to get the women together for the purpose of giving instruction in the case of invasion?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

As I have already said, these matters are in the charge of the invasion committees, on a very large number of which women sit.