§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Long)
A revised set of regulations and instructions containing various amendments consequent upon the passing of the new Act is in preparation and will be circulated to the tribunals as early as practicable.
§ 40. Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the President of the Local Government Board if he has received representations from all the labour organisations in Kettering protesting against the inadequate representation of labour on the local tribunal; and will he point out to the local authority that one Labour member on a tribunal of seven is not adequate representation and is not in accordance with his instructions?
§ 41. Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the President of the Local Government Board if he is aware that Mr. Frank Bibby, who was appointed by him to be chairman of the Appeal Tribunal for Salop, has had all his gamekeepers of military age, of whom he kept some fourteen, transferred to the Remount depot near his place, that he has four motor drivers who are badged, that all his house and farm servants are badged, and that as Mr. Bibby is refusing exemption to men farming their own land considerable local feeling has been 2278 aroused at his conduct; and, with the object of giving appellants before the Appeal Tribunal some confidence that their cases will be fairly and judicially considered, will he revoke the appointment of the present chairman?
§ Mr. LONG
Mr. Bibby was not appointed by me as chairman of the Shropshire and Herefordshire Appeal Tribunal, but was elected unanimously by the tribunal. As the question contains a series of charges against Mr. Bibby, who has rendered the country invaluable services in more than one direction, I think it right to state that since the commencement of the War he has been superintendent of a Remount depot for Artillery horses under the War Office, at which not less than 500 horses have been under training at any time. The additional stabling necessary for over 300 horses was erected free of expense to the Government. No rent or maintenance charges are paid by them. Owing to the difficulty of procuring suitable men for this work, six (not fourteen) gamekeepers, with previous knowledge of horses, were transferred to and are exclusively employed in remount work; five of the six are married men with families and the other is medically unfit for active service. In addition, three married men, previously stable men, who hold motor-driving licences, are practically entirely employed on remount work. The wages of these three men and of seven others engaged at the depât are paid by Mr. Bibby, and not by the Government. None of Mr. Bibby's house and farm-servants are badged. I may add that besides the men employed in the depot more than 100 men from Mr. Bibby's estates have joined the Army.
§ Mr. SNOWDEN
What has the right hon. Gentleman's reply to do with the facts stated in the question?