HC Deb 04 June 1924 vol 174 cc1233-4

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is prepared to re-open the Employment Exchange at Eltham?


The Employment Office at Eltham was a purely temporary one. The number of persons attending at the office has decreased by, approximately, one-half since the date on which it was opened, and, in view of the proximity of other local offices, it was decided that the expense of keeping the Eltham office open could not be justified. I do not think re-opening would be warranted so long as the present conditions exist.


Is the right hors. Gentleman aware that, owing to this decision, a very large number of men will have to walk several miles to the next Exchange, and that it will considerably interfere with their efforts to obtain employment?


Before that question is answered, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the present so-called temporary Exchange at Eltham is in response to the ever-increasing needs of the district, and that this temporary Exchange actually records a greater number of signatures than many of the so-called permanent Exchanges, and if it is a question of cost, the local hall offered by the borough council is open to them?


No, I am not aware that a very large number of people are placed at a considerable disadvantage in comparison with the conditions in other parts of the country. I am at all times willing to consider fully any demand made for accommodation, and to meet that demand if I can in reason meet it, and, in the circumstances, T will give it consideration.