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Women Agricultural Workers

Volume 387: debated on Thursday 25 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that, under recent directional orders, full-time women agricultural workers on the land have been directed to do part-time work with the National Fire Service and other bodies, in some cases three or four miles from the farm on which they work; and whether, in view of the importance of the fullest possible hours of labour being made use of on the farms, he will make some concession in these cases, so that the programme of farm work will not be unduly disturbed?

No complaints have been brought to my notice, but if my hon. Friend will let me have particulars of any cases in which he considers that hardship has been caused through directions issued by my officers, I will have them investigated.

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that food is an all-important munition of war, and will he issue some comprehensive instructions so that girls on outlying farms having to walk four or five miles should not be made to waste time which could be used for the production of food? It will be worse when the harvest is here.

I am afraid that I cannot do this job under comprehensive instructions. Man-power has got so tight that I have to deal with almost individual cases.

Does not my right hon. Friend realise that that is the reason I am rubbing it in?