HC Deb 02 November 1916 vol 86 cc1799-800
46. Major NEWMAN

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, under a new arrangement between the War Office, the Ministry of Munitions, and the Board of Trade, divisional officers of the last-named service are entrusted with the duties of inspecting men at present in the Army with a view to their suitability to the releasing for active service of men badged or in certified occupations and of arranging for their employment with employers who have men available for substitution; and will he say how many of these divisional officers are in his employment and their qualifications for this new duty?


I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the statement made on 25th October by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions, of which I am sending him a copy. The duties referred to will be undertaken by officers of the Employment Exchanges, working under the supervision of the nine divisional officers of the Employment Department. These officers have now for a long period been engaged in similar work as part of their normal duties, and they are, therefore, well qualified to undertake the task of selecting men from the Army and making arrangements with employers for the release of men for whom substitutes can be provided.

Commander WEDGWOOD

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that this system of substitution as it has been tried up to now has proved a failure? Is it worth while going on with it much longer?


It is worth while giving this a trial at any rate.

Commander WEDGWOOD

Is it not wasting more time instead of dealing drastically with the problem?

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