§ 66. Mr. SEXTON
asked the Minister of Labour whether a deputation of Liverpool trade unionists waited upon the Employment Exchange Department, in December last, with reference to the accommodation provided for unemployed persons in Liverpool; whether he is aware that women and girls still wait in the streets every day, whatever the weather, to do their unemployment insurance business; and whether he will at Once provide suitable waiting rooms under cover for such persons?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Sir Montague Barlow)
A deputation of Liverpool trade unionists was received by the Employment Department of the Ministry of Labour in December last, and the question of employment exchange accommodation in Liverpool was fully discussed. A search for more satisfactory accommodation was immediately undertaken by the Office of Works. Very great difficulty was experienced in securing suitable alternative accommodation, and accordingly the help of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool was sought and obtained. As a result of negotiations now in progress I have every reason to hope that satisfactory premises will shortly be available.
§ Mr. SEXTON
Is the hon. Gentleman aware there were a lot of buildings little used by the military and practically empty, which might have been used for the purpose?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
All the available buildings were considered, but for one reason or another we had to adopt the course which I have indicated to the House.
Mr. J. JONES
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in working-class districts in London thousands of men and women are standing outside employment exchanges, and some of us have written asking the authorities to get into communication with religious bodies to see if they can provide institutions in various neighbourhoods so that men and women shall not stand in the street for hours?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
There have, I know, been difficulties with regard to employ- 928 ment exchanges in London and other places, and we are making the best efforts we can under great pressure to secure additional accommodation on the lines suggested.