THE WOMEN'S ARMY.
CAMPAIGN INAUGURATED BY DUCHESS OF ATHOLL.
A recruiting campaign to swell the ranks of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was opened in the West of Scotland yesterday with a meeting in the Banqueting Hall of the Glasgow City Chambers. Every foot of space in the hall was occupied, and many people were unable to gain admission. Amongst the speakers were the Duchess of Atholl and Lord Scott Dickson.
Lord Provost Stewart, who presided, said they wanted 10,000 capable women immediately, and after that a second and a third ten thousand, and so on for a few months to come, in order that men might be released for the fighting line.
Miss Craigie, the Recruiting Controller for Scotland, outlined the scheme of the W.A.A.C, and the spheres within which the Corps operates, and the rates of pay and conditions of service in the various sections, mechanical, domestic, clerical, or unskilled, as the case may be. In Scotland alone, they wished 250 volunteers per week, and for Great Britain the Government required 10,000 women per month.
The Duchess of Atholl, in urging-the claims of the Corps, contrasted the opposition which Florence Nightingale had encountered before she was permitted to take her handful of heroic helpers to the suffering troops in the Crimea, and the condition now, when they had a Women's Corps raised by the War Office and financed by the State. This situation had brought to women a tremendous privilege and an equally tremendous responsibility—a situation absolutely unprecedented in our country's history, and unprecedented, she thought, in the history of women, and one which required that each one should put to herself very searching questions as to the value of the work she was at present doing, and the effect of her needs and desires upon the labour forces of the country. She wished it could be possible, her Grace said, that in the years to come they could look back upon the years of the Great War and say :—"We women gave up our fashions; we recognised that the country's need for labour was so overwhelming that our lesser needs went by the board, and we threw off the tyranny of fashion while the war lasted." (Applause.) That was not yet quite the case. The shops continued to display a bewildering and tempting variety of things day by day; and she heard that the jewellers' trade had never been so brisk as now. They should reduce their needs so as to conserve all possible labour for the country's wants; they did want it to be any longer true—as had been trenchantly said—that "ladies' new hats are the grave of a nation's energy." With due allowance for personal and business ties, women were being asked to give themselves to the service of the country, and her Grace was sure that if the need were realised the response would add enormously to the splendid record of the women of Glasgow. (Applause.)
Lord Scott Dickson said the women were being asked to come forward, as each woman meant the release of a man for the lighting line. He was sure that when they were convinced, as they must be convinced, that they required men and still more men—that the need was so acute to free men for the fighting line—the appeal would not be addressed in vain to the women of Glasgow, but that they would respond as readily as the men-folk who were facing the enemy in the battle-line. (Applause.)