asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the indignation caused by the proposed transfer of Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses to the Auxiliary Territorial Service, involving scrapping of uniforms and the transfer of trained girls who volunteered before the war from a service where they are working happily and well to another service; and on what grounds is the change being proposed?
asked the Secretary of State for War whether the War Office proposal to transfer Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses, serving with Army units, to the Auxiliary Territorial Service has been voluntarily accepted, or otherwise, by members of the Red Cross and St. John organisation; and whether it is the intention of His Majesty's Government to compensate the said Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses if they be compelled to scrap their own Red Cross uniforms?
I received last week a deputation representing the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. As a result I am proposing to invite these organisations to appoint representatives to a Committee to be set up under an independent Chairman. The detailed arrangements are now in hand.
Before any change in the status of the V.A.D.s is settled will Parliament have an opportunity of discussing the matter, in view of the general feeling of the honourable calling of nurses, both male and female, that they should have an opportunity of considering the question?
Their representatives are going to be on this Committee, and naturally when a report has been received I shall, if necessary; make a statement upon it to the House before any action is taken.