§ 57. Sir WILLIAM BULL
asked the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawn to the canvass by a London newspaper for men capable of working in a new aeroplane factory, with the result that about 7,000 applications were received in a few days for the 200 vacancies; whether a further canvass by the same newspaper for men capable and willing to perform war work in engineering factories has been vetoed by the Board of Trade on the ground that the advertising of vacancies and the registration of workers is forbidden by the Defence of the Realm Act Regulations except by and at the Labour Exchanges; whether this veto of an effort to find recruits for munition factories among those not regularly occupied in engineering or similar work has his sanction; and, if not, will he take steps to remove the veto which absolutely limits the registration of workers to the Labour Exchanges?
The Order in Council which the proposed action by this newspaper would, in my opinion, have contravened was made with a view to avoiding the serious delay in production due to the constant transference of men already engaged on Government work to other work. The rule made is, I think, a salutary and necessary one, and I do not propose to advise its relaxation. Arrangements have been made by which approved newspaper advertisements may still be inserted in such a form as to avoid the risk against which the Order was intended to provide.
§ Mr. G. TERRELL
May I ask if newspaper advertisements for labour are therefore to be considered illegal unless they are approved by the Department over which the right hon. Gentleman presides?
No, Sir; that would be much too general a statement. But it has become quite obvious that if newspapers or other bodies take men away from Government work in order to supply other Government work, it must lead to disorganisation and not effective production, which is what is required by the Government.
§ Mr. G. TERRELL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the general opinion among manufacturers is that Labour Exchanges are useless for this purpose?
I am afraid I cannot accept that doctrine, as already Labour Exchanges have found no less than 67,000 workmen for war work.