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Domestic Service

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 22 March 1949

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asked the Minister of Labour why women between the ages of 18 and 41 years are required to obtain his Department's consent to any engagement in domestic service, notwithstanding that his powers, under the Control of Engagement Order to refuse such consent, are never exercised; and if he will dispense with this formality.

The inclusion of employment in domestic service within the scope of the Order gives an opportunity to distinguish between employment in hardship households, hospitals, etc., and that in other places where the need is not so great. The answer to the last part of the Question is in the negative.

Did not the right non. Gentleman in the Debate on 10th March deny that the Ministry used its powers to prevent any of these engagements? In those circumstances, why should people be put to the necessity of reporting proposed engagements as a mere formality?

I did not deny that this was operating; what I said was that no young woman was refused permission to enter a hardship household in domestic service by the operation of the Control of Engagement Order, and that position stands. We cannot agree to one employer having three or four servants and another not having any

But is it not a fact that the Ministry requires these proposed engagements to be reported—