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Hours Of Work

Volume 360: debated on Thursday 9 May 1940

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asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that, at some of the Government works in Lancashire, excessively long hours are being worked by women on night shifts; that this is having effect on their health; and will he have inquiries made to see if this can be avoided?

The hours worked are those agreed between the Department and officials of the trades unions representing the workpeople concerned. The health of the employés is being constantly watched, and there is no evidence that the hours at present being worked in Royal Ordnance Factories are having any effect detrimental to their health. The question of the best hours to be worked, regard being had both to the essential needs of production and to the welfare of the workpeople, is one which is under continual review.

Is the Minister being guided in this matter by the recommenda- tions of the Industrial Health Research Board?

I would like the hon. Lady to put that Question down. I know that we are in consultation with a large number of people, but I am not quite certain whether that body is one of them.

Does not the Minister know that this body was set up by the Medical Research Council to investigate matters of this kind?