But here are some of the figures that can be given. The shop area of the ammunition shops alone has been increased eightfold since the outbreak of war. The total weight of shell delivered during 1915 was—in tons—fourteen times as much as that of 1914. The weight of shell delivered per week, as between December, 1914, and December, 1915, has risen nearly ten times. The number of work-people, in these shops, men and women, had risen (a) as compared with the month in which war broke out, to a figure eight times as great; (b) as compared with December, 1914, to one between three and four times as great. And over the whole vast enterprise, shipyards, gun shops, ammunition shops, with all kinds of naval and other machinery used in war, the numbers of work-people employed had increased since 1913 more than 200 per cent. They, with their families, equal the population of a great city—you may see a new town rising to meet their needs on the farther side of the river.
As to Dilution, it is now accepted by the men, who said when it was proposed to them: “Why didn’t you come to us six months ago?”
And it is working wonders here as elsewhere. For instance, a particular portion of the breech mechanism of a gun used to take one hour and twenty minutes to make. On the Dilution plan it is done on a capstan, and takes six minutes. Where 500 women were employed before the war, there are now close on 9,000, and there will be thousands more, requiring one skilled man as tool-setter to about nine or ten women. In a great gun-carriage shop, “what used to be done in two years is now done in one month.” In another, two tons of brass were used before the war; a common figure now is twenty-one. A large milling shop, now entirely worked by men, is to be given up immediately to women. And so on.