§ 9. Wing-Commander James
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that excessive hours are still being worked, particularly by women in munitions production; and what steps are being taken to limit hours where medical officers report injury to health?
§ Mr. Bevin
Inquiries show a widespread tendency to reduce working hours in factories where these have been relatively long, and in my Department's recent leaflet on the problem of absenteeism stress is laid on the importance of planning, so far as reasonably possible, hours of working of individuals or of sets of workers with some regard to their personal circumstances. If I were to receive evidence of injury to health due to excessive factory hours, I should not hesitate to take the matter up with the firm concerned.
§ Wing-Commander James
Is my right hon. Friend aware that damage to health, particularly among women workers, is accruing, and will he press upon medical officers the need for watching the position?
Is it not true that we warned the Minister two years ago that unless he limited the hours of women workers—and of men workers, too—there would be absenteeism, and reduction of output? Is it not true that if a Tory Minister allowed this sort of thing, the Labour Party would be yelling from one end of the country to the other?