HC Deb 02 March 1921 vol 138 cc1796-7
41. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that a number of adult workers reside at Barking who have to attend at the East Ham Employment Exchange to sign on and that at times the adults in question have to remain there some hours before they can sign on; that additional huts are about to be fixed up at the back of the existing premises in East Ham; and that there is a Juvenile Exchange at Barking; whether some arrangements will be made so that the adults can sign on at the Employment Exchange at Barking so as to relieve the pressure at East Ham; and if he will take action in the matter?


Barking residents have two Exchanges available for them, namely, those at East Ham and Ilford.

The Juvenile Exchange at Barking is situated in the premises of the local authority and cannot be made available for adult applicants. Some waiting is inevitable at present at the East Ham Exchange owing to the large numbers to be dealt with and the limited accommodation, but every effort is being made to expedite the provision of additional accommodation. I am advised that the congestion mainly occurs in the mornings owing to the attendance of applicants before the Exchange is opened. Before the close of the year I issued instructions that every endeavour in the way of acquiring additional premises and temporary staff must be made in thickly-populated areas, so that everything possible might be done to avoid delays.


Could not some provision be made so that men and women who are living at Barking would be allowed to register at the Exchange at Barking instead of having to walk 1½ miles in one case and 2 miles in the other?


East Ham Exchange is 1½ miles. That is a hardship, but I have great difficulty in getting other premises. We are doing all we can to pay these men as expeditiously and as smoothly as possible and with as little delay and inconvenience as possible.


Is not the Juvenile Exchange at Barking for people who reside at Barking?


That belongs to the local authority. I put it to those who help me this morning whether we could not ask for that.