Women (Records).

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 9th July 1942.

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Miss Rathabone (for Mrs. Tate):

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in order to ascertain facts concerning the family responsibilities and financial commitments of employed women, he will give an assurance that information obtained during the interviewing of women for purposes of the call-up shall be recorded in such a manner as to be subsequently available?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

A record is made and retained at local offices for future confidential reference of such brief details of domestic circumstances as are relevant to the availability of a woman for employment or for transfer to other employment.

Miss Rathbone:

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that these records of interviews both with men and women will be valuable in future for statistical use, in giving an indication of the available manpower and woman-power in the country, and that therefore they should be very carefully preserved?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

There is great doubt about it. We have guaranteed to the women that everything they tell us shall be confidential. If once they thought that we were keeping their past records for future use, it might cause——

Miss Rathbone:

Is it not possible to keep strictly personal matters confidential but to keep a record for purely statistical purposes?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I did not know that women's problems could be reduced to a purely statistical form.