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Munitions Workers (Award)

Volume 624: debated on Wednesday 29 March 2017

Q11. If she will introduce an award in recognition of the contribution made by munitions workers in the first and second world wars. (909566)

I am sure everyone in the House will want to join me in paying tribute to the thousands who worked in munitions factories in both world wars, often in very dangerous conditions. They produced vital equipment for the armed forces that helped us to victory. I am sure my hon. Friend will recognise that, for practical reasons, it is not possible to pursue individual awards, but the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy would be happy to work with him to look at further ways of recognising the collective effort of former munitions workers.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. These ladies found that the chemicals in the shells turned their skin yellow, and they were nicknamed canary girls. I know my right hon. Friend is exceptionally busy at the moment, but could she find just a few moments in her diary to meet me and some of these canary girls to recognise their service?

I would be very happy to meet some canary girls. As I said, their work was vital to the war effort. Their work was, in one sense, absolutely routine, but in another sense, it was extremely dangerous, and we should recognise their efforts.