HC Deb 03 May 1920 vol 128 cc1704-5
86. Sir J. BUTCHER

asked the Minister of Labour whether any conferences or negotiations have taken place between the Minister of Labour and the officials of any of the trades unions with a view to the removal of the difficulties as to the training and employment of ex-service men which were referred to in the Debate in this House on 18th February last?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Dr. Macnamara)

The Debate to which my hon. and learned Friend refers was followed by a conference on 1st March between my predecessor and representatives of the Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Union Congress and of the ex-service men's organisations. As a result of this conference, a Committee has been appointed, and is now at work, representative of employers, trade unions, and ex-service men's organisations, to consider the best means of facilitating the re-employment of ex-service men. Further, the local employment committees are continuously at work on the problem locally.

As regards training, conferences and negotiations on particular points or in relation to particular trades are continually taking place.

I can assure my hon. and learned Friend and the House that I fully share the general solicitude displayed concerning the necessity to find employment for ex-service men, of whom 218,000 are still unemployed. I am devoting continuous effort to the problem of training, to reemployment, and to the endeavour widely to extend the King's Roll of Honour for Employers; and I shall welcome opportunity from time to time to state progress.


Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to make a report shortly as to the results of the conferences with the trade unions?


I shall be very glad of an opportunity at the earliest possible moment.


May I ask whether, arising out of what occurred on the 18th February last, the Ministry of Labour Lave seen their way clear to correct the misrepresentations attributed to the boilermakers?


I cannot, of course, say, because I was not responsible, but I shall myself have an opportunity of meeting the members of the Committee to which I have referred next Thursday.


In view of the deep feeling of the ex-service men, has the right hon. Gentleman fixed any approximate date for the Report of the Committee?


No; the Committee is at work, and the next meeting is next Thursday, and I have every hope that by goodwill we shall get a good result.


Will the right hon. Gentleman do his best to get the trade unions to remove their objections to the employment of ex-service men?


Why do not the shipowners find them work?