HC Deb 08 April 1925 vol 182 cc2211-3
39. Mr. SHORT

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that young unemployed girls have recently been sent by the Wednesbury Employment Exchange to Messrs. Kynochs, Limited, Birmingham, where no vacancies have existed; and will he take steps to prevent such incidents recurring?


The Wednesbury Exchange, having recently supplied women workers in response to an order notified by Messrs. Kynochs, learnt that, after cancellation of the vacancies, workers who applied personally to the firm were being engaged. The Wednesbury Exchange accordingly took the course of suggesting to several unemployed women on its register that there might also be an opportunity for them to obtain employment in the same way. It would have been more strictly in accordance with instructions if the Exchange had first verified that vacancies actually existed, but as its action was dictated by a desire to give its women applicants every possible opportunity for obtaining work, I am not disposed to take serious exception to it.


Are there no telephones between Wednesbury and Birmingham, and is it necessary for girls to go from the first to the second place when a telephone call could give the information?


May I ask whether in this case any blame whatever attaches to Kynochs?


There is no question of Kynochs in this matter. The point really was this: that the Exchange in question was telephoned to in the ordinary way to supply some girls to fill vacancies. They did so. After these vacancies were closed they had an application at the Exchange for another girl, and secured no appointment for her. Some women subsequently came back to Wednesbury who had made personal application for themselves, and had found work at Kynochs, and as a result the manager, thinking to do simply a friendly act to one or two of the girls, informed them: "It seems there are still jobs going if you go and look for them." Strictly speaking, that was irregular. But, in the light of all the circumstances, I do not think it was either a wrong or unfriendly act.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these girls had to pay their own railway fare between Wednesbury and Birmingham, which is 11d. each way; does he propose to refund that money to these girls?


Would the girls have been struck off the unemployment pay roll if they had refused to go?


That is a purely hypothetical question. In this case should have said, "Certainly not," because it was not submitted in the regular official way.


I. should like to ask the Minister if he is not aware of this point: That the Exchanges tell the girls at night that there will be a job for them next day at such a place. They go home buoyed up by the hope that they are going to get a good start. It is a tragedy when they go next day and find that there is no job. I should like the Minister to be very careful what he is doing.


I think this question has had a fair share of attention.


What about the railway fares?

41. Mr. SHORT

asked the Minister of Labour the number of unemployed boys, girls, and women, respectively, on the live registers of the Wednesbury Employment Exchange?


On 30th March there were on the registers of the Wednesbury Employment Exchange 43 boys, 38 girls and 265 women.