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Women Workers (Utilisation)

Volume 395: debated on Thursday 2 December 1943

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asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the comprehensive comb-out that has been carried out by the Ministry of Labour in calling up young girls and middle-aged women from the shops, hotels and domestic service, he will confer with the Minister of Production so as to ensure that the factories to which this personnel may be directed are able and willing to absorb them; and whether it is now possible to have a complete overhaul of those already employed in war factories and Government offices with a view to ascertaining whether their services are still essential and that they are actively engaged?

The general demand for labour is far in excess of the supply and individual demands are as far as practicable examined by my officers before workers are supplied. I am also in constant touch with the Minister of Production and other Ministers concerned to ensure that the available labour is supplied with due regard to production priorities. The primary responsibility for the efficient use of labour rests with the employer and the Department concerned but officers of my Department are in addition constantly undertaking inspection of establishments in co-operation, where necessary, with the Department concerned. I do not think it necessary to take any further special measures at the present time. The efficient use of labour in Government offices is primarily a matter for the Treasury.