HC Deb 03 April 1917 vol 92 cc1228-9

Any contract securing for a person employment for life in any undertaking shall not be abrogated by such person entering upon any form of national service or military service during the period of the present War.—[Mr. C. Duncan.]

Clause brought up, and read the first time.


I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."

The reason for the New Clause is as follows: There are in this country, especially in connection with insurance companies, many of which have been amalgamated within recent years, and, as a condition of such amalgamation, many men who are employed for the whole of their lives. It will be obvious to anybody that when these men are taken either into military service or National Service it may be alleged that the contract has been broken, and that the employer of the person may thereby be excused from the arrangement which had been entered into. I hope consideration will be given to the matter, as it does affect in a serious way a considerable number of people who are very much afraid that if a Clause of this kind is not put in the Bill their position will be jeopardised.


I am afraid I cannot accept this Clause. I have not sufficient knowledge either of the kind of grievance to which the hon. Member refers or of the extent to which it prevails to be satisfied that any such provision is necessary. One can understand a freehold office for life, but, shortly, I confess, from the information which is before me, that I find it difficult to believe that any such Clause as this is required.

Question put, and negatived.