HC Deb 17 May 1922 vol 154 cc339-40
15. Mr. HAYDAY

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction with regard to the policy followed at the Employment Exchanges in informing men of vacancies created by a lock-out or strike; and whether, in view of the fact that, although applicants for employment are informed that a dispute is in progress, the supplying of information as to such vacancies is calculated to encourage men to offer themselves, to the prejudice of men engaged in the dispute, thus removing the exchanges from the field of strict neutrality, he will consider the advisability of instructing all exchange managers that particulars as to vacancies at establishments where a dispute is in progress shall not be dealt with?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Dr. Macnamara)

I am not aware of any general dissatisfaction with regard to the manner in which Employment Exchanges deal with vacancies created by a trade dispute. The procedure, which is laid down by Regulations made under the Labour Exchanges Act, 1909, is to tell applicants all the facts known to the exchange. This seems to me to be the nearest approach possible to neutrality.


Has the right hon. Gentleman not yet studied the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry presided over by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Barnes) and their suggestions relative to this matter? Does he not think that some such new Regulation should he made so as to ensure the neutrality of Employment Exchanges in connection with lock-outs and strikes?


I have studied these recommendations, but, in my judgment, it is not desirable to alter the law. I have stated what is done in the matter.


Is it not the fact that managers of Employment Exchanges, many years ago, were instructed to inform men, when applying for situations, if there was a strike or lock-out?


That is what I have just said. It is the procedure laid down in the Regulations to which my hon. Friend has referred. The recommendation is that men should be told if there is a strike or lock-out, and that is what is done.


Is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to see that the Employment Exchanges are closed down? Then there would be no need for these precautions.


Close down lockouts at the same time.