HC Deb 07 April 1910 vol 16 cc600-1

asked the President of the Board of Trade if a person at present in employment, and not under notice to terminate his engagement, can register his name at the Labour Exchanges as requiring employment; and, if so, will he state the number of persons registered under these conditions?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Buxton)

There is no regulation preventing persons from applying for employment through a Labour Exchange if they are still employed at the time of registration. I am not able to give the exact number of persons who have registered their names while still in employment, but I understand that the number is quite inconsiderable.


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that, on the occasion recently of a dispute between the General Motor Cab Company, Limited, and the cab-washers at their Brixton depot, men were supplied from various Labour Exchanges to take the places of the cab-washers; what instructions the managers of the Exchanges have as to supplying or not supplying men when a trade dispute exists; and whether he will take steps to obviate the danger of the Exchanges being used, in the case of unorganised trades, so as to enable employers to bring undue pressure to bear on their employés?


The procedure to be followed by Labour Exchanges in the event of trade disputes is defined by the Regulations made by the Board of Trade, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend. In the particular case to which my hon. Friend alludes I understand that no notice of the existence of a dispute was filed at the Labour Exchange, but that the manager nevertheless took the very proper precaution of warning all applicants of the probable cause to which the vacancies were due.


Are we to understand that the representative of the company did not fully explain the circumstances when he applied for that labour?


That is possible. The regulations provide that in the case of a dispute that either party may give notice to the Exchange that a dispute is taking place. In that case it is the duty of the manager to represent to applicants that there is a dispute going on. In this case no notice was given, and the manager, when he heard himself of the dispute exercised what I think was a wise discretion, and, as a matter of fact, mentioned the fact.


Is the right hon. Gentleman taking any steps to provide for similar contingencies in the case of unorganised trades?


The matter is under constant observation.


It is a very serious thing.