HC Deb 04 June 1919 vol 116 cc1993-5

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that H. Burridge, late sergeant in the Sherwood Foresters, applied to the Ilkeston Labour Exchange for employment at the Chilwell factory, where he was employed prior to enlistment, and was informed that only soldiers in uniform, drawing His Majesty's pay, and under Army discipline, would in future be employed at this place; and if he will say when this decision was arrived at, by whom, and for what reasons?

Captain GUEST (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. I am making inquiry, and will write to the hon. Member in due course.

30. Mr. DONALD

asked the Minister of Labour what machinery has been set up in Ireland to further the technical and other training of demobilised officers and men, whose education or training was interrupted, for professional, business, trade, and agricultural appointments; whether wounded officers and men whose educational qualifications fit them for the same are being considered; and what will foe the procedure for finding suitable employment for these men in conjunction with the Labour Exchanges?


The machinery set up in Ireland for the training of demobilised officers and men is similar to that set up in other parts of the United Kingdom. Higher educational training is administered by the Irish Department, Agricultural and Technical Training by the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, while the Ministry of Labour Is responsible for training in offices and works, and for all schemes of training in industrial occupations. As regards employment after training, the same facilities are afforded in Ireland as in the rest of the United Kingdom through the Appointments Department and the Employment Exchanges. As regards both training and appointments, wounded officers and men receive special consideration.

32. Mr. RAPER

asked the Minister of Labour what steps are being taken to replace girls temporarily employed in Government offices and elsewhere during the War by discharged and demobilised sailors and soldiers; and whether it is not considered desirable to provide such temporary employment for ex-sailors and ex-soldiers pending their securing permanent employment?

Mr. BALDWIN (Joint Financial Secretary to the Treasury)

I agree that preference should be given to discharged soldiers in filling vacancies for temporary as for permanent appointments and all the Departments of the Government are doing what is possible to attain this result.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that the Women's Legion are employing women drivers at 42s. per week, and if they are not able to drive they give them free tuition and during the period of tuition they get free board and lodging and 10s. per week; and furthermore, the War Graves Commission quite recently, last week, engaged lady drivers at £2 17s. 6d. per week in France with free board and lodgings. May I have an answer to that?


The hon. Member's supplementary question contains a number of figures, and he could not expect a Minister to carry all those in his head.


Will the hon. Gentleman see that the salaries offered to discharged men are adequate to the needs of adult men?


I think the salaries given for these appointments are adequate.


No, they are not.


In view of the widespread and natural interest in this matter, may I ask the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement on the subject?


I am afraid I cannot make a statement as to the figures which the hon. Gentleman has referred to, but the hon. Gentleman and the House may take it that the desire of the Ministry of Labour is to provide all possible employment for discharged soldiers and that we are taking means to supervise all temporary appointments held in the public ser- vice with a view, so far as possible without hardship to others, to provide those appointments for discharged soldiers.


If the right hon. Gentleman finds that what I have stated is the fact will he further consider the matter?


Certainly, if the facts are as the hon. Member suggests, then I will undoubedly have the matter seriously considered.


asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that the period for payment of unemployment donation in the case of ex-Service men will shortly expire, he can state what steps are proposed to provide maintenance for such men until they obtain employment?


The Government are. aware that in the case of a number of ex-Service men the term of their unemployment donation under the original scheme is about to expire. The intention of the Government is to do in the case of ex-Service men what was done in the case of civilian workers when the term of their unemployment donation came to an end, namely, to continue it for six months to the extent of thirteen payments at the reduced rate of 20s. per week, together with the ordinary allowances for children, so as to meet the cases of those who cannot find work.