(a) the powers conferred by this Section shall not be exercised except where it is certified by the Minister of Labour that, having regard to the exceptional amount of unemployment existing in any area, it is desirable that the provisions of this Section should be put into operation with a view to the speedy provision of employment for unemployed persons from that area; and
§ Mr. HAYDAY
I beg to move, in paragraph (a), to leave out the word "exceptional."
In Committee upstairs, a similar Amendment was moved because we felt that there are plenty of powers given to the Labour Minister and local authorities which would make this word quite unnecessary in the Clause. We felt that, having regard to the amount of unemployment existing, the term would be quite sufficiently wide without the word "exceptional." "Exceptional" is a very elastic word, and depends largely upon the temper or the outlook of the Minister of Labour for the time being. It was suggested in Committee that, where the rate of unemployment seemed above the normal, that would be quite sufficient indication to the Labour Minister and the local authority in any given area that there was in existence a state of unemployment above the normal, and we felt that the Labour Minister ought not to have the power to say, "In my opinion this is not an exceptional state of unemployment." As there appears to be an indication from the Minister of Labour that it is possible he may be able to agree to strike out the word "exceptional," I need not detain the House any longer.
§ Mr. MUNRO
As my hon. Friend has said, this question was discussed upstairs yesterday, and I promised to consider the matter before the Report stage. I have now had the opportunity of conferring with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, and after that conference I am quite prepared to accept the Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.829
§ Mr. MUNRO
I beg to move in paragraph (a), after the word "area" ["unemployed persons from that area"], to insert the wordsand the Minister of Labour shall take into consideration any representations which may be made to him by any local authority to the effect that he should issue a certificate under this Section.I put down this Amendment in order to meet the arguments used upstairs yesterday. The effect of it is that the Minister of Labour should be in touch with the various areas in which unemployment exists. This Amendment, I think, gives effect to the view expressed by the hon. Gentleman sitting opposite to me upstairs yesterday.
§ Amendment agreed to.