Domestic Workers

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

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Miss Rathbone:

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has given attention to the problem of households employing unnecessarily large staffs of domestic workers who have hitherto escaped attention because the workers are above or below the present registration ages; and, in view of the importance of avoiding wastage of the available supply of domestic help, whether he will consider rationing the number of domestic workers allowed to households in proportion to the size of the household, with due weightage for invalids and young children?

Photo of Mr Malcolm McCorquodale Mr Malcolm McCorquodale , Sowerby

My right hon. Friend is considering my hon. Friend's proposal, but she will appreciate the difficulties involved in any such scheme, and before embarking upon it he would need to be satisfied that it would be likely to produce commensurate results.

Miss Rathbone:

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many women who have been doing valuable paid or unpaid war work have been compelled to abandon it because they have had to do the whole of their own domestic household work? Is it fair that selfish women should be allowed, as at present, to hire so many manual workers on the excuse that they are below or above the registration age?

Photo of Mr Malcolm McCorquodale Mr Malcolm McCorquodale , Sowerby

I have every sympathy with this question. We are discussing it with the Women's Consultative Committee at the moment.