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Women's Land Army (Recruitment)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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asked the Minister of Labour how many women his Department has permitted to join the Women's Land Army in each of the past four weeks; and what steps his local officials are taking, especially in the rural areas, to encourage suitable women to undertake this vital form of National Service?

I am informed by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries that the numbers enrolled by the Women's Land Army in England and Wales during each of the past four weeks are 1,005, 917, 933 and 1,083 respectively. The precise number of women submitted to the Women's Land Army by my local offices is not known. but it is substantially larger than the number enrolled as the result of such submissions. Subject to the satisfaction of other equally urgent labour requirements, every encouragement is given by my local officers to the recruitment of suitable women, especially in rural areas.

In view of the inadequacy of these numbers, what further steps is the Minister taking to impress on his local officials that the need for more women workers on the land is very urgent?

One of the immediate steps I am taking with my right hon. Friend is to make the conditions more comparable with other bodies, by which recruiting will be made much easier.