HC Deb 15 March 1917 vol 91 cc1276-7
80. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Minister of Munitions whether, in view of the co-operation of all classes of workpeople to secure the maximum output of munition work, he can see his way to introduce legislation to reduce or abolish the period of six weeks which must elapse before an employer can engage a workman who has not received the prescribed clearance certificate on leaving his previous employment; and if he is aware that this provision is regarded by workmen as abnoxious and a serious interference with their liberty, seeing that there is no penalty or obligation imposed by the Munitions Act upon employers to retain the services of workmen?


My flight hon. Friend is not prepared to introduce legislation of the kind suggested. Safeguards against the abuse of the leaving certificate provision are provided by the Munitions of War Acts, which give workpeople a light of appeal to a munitions tribunal if they are of opinion that a leaving certificate has been unreasonably withheld.


Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that these safeguards are useless, that there is great indignation and discontent throughout the country regarding the system, and that many unions are still passing resolutions against it?


I am aware that there have been grounds of complaint, but I have no information which would justify the statement that these safeguards are useless; on the contrary, they are very widely appreciated.

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