§ 47. Mr. Osborne
asked the Minister of Labour from what industries the 50,000 women who have just left industry have mainly gone; whether he proposes to spend more public money on women's recruitment campaign publicity; and if he will investigate the large number of women, now temporarily employed in Government Departments, who might be returned to productive industry.
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)
Of the net reduction of 49,000 in the number of women in civilian employment during December, more than half was accounted for by a seasonal reduction in the distributive trades and other consumers' services; the smaller decrease in the manufacturing industries was mainly in metals and engineering; food, drink and tobacco; and clothing. In reply to the second part of the Question, publicity will be continued to encourage both men and women to take up work in the important undermanned industries. As regards the last part of the Question, the numbers employed in Government Departments are constantly under review, 2122 and maximum reductions are effected consistent with efficiency. As far as possible, those released are placed in the most important work according to their qualifications.
§ Mr. Osborne
In view of the shortage of textiles, is the Minister satisfied with the steps he has taken to help to get women back into the textile industry generally?
§ Mr. Isaacs
Those steps cannot be considered only in relation to the inducing of our own people to go back. They must be considered in relation to the number of European voluntary workers who are coming in. We are not yet satisfied with the result, but we are satisfied that the machinery is working adequately and giving good results.