HC Deb 21 June 1928 vol 218 cc1755-6

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Arthur Gray, of Top Road, Garndiffaeth, near Pontypool, was brought to the Chiswick Employment Exchange, along with 27 other miners, to be trained by the London General Omnibus Company, and only 15 out of the 27 young men were required; that Arthur Gray was subsequently sent to the Camberwell Exchange and found work with a painter for a fortnight, and that he is now stranded in London without any means to pay his train fare to South Wales; and whether he will investigate the case immediately?


Mr. Gray was unsuccessful in obtaining employment with the London General Omnibus Company. He was then offered a railway warrant home, but he elected to remain in London. Within two days he was placed in employment which, I am informed, lasted for five weeks. Every effort is being made to find him further employment, and, from inquiries I have made, I have no reason to suppose that he is "stranded" in London. He is also at present in receipt of unemployment benefit.


Is the Minister aware that these 27 miners were brought to London by his Department when thousands of unemployed in London were walking the streets, and that the railway-fares of these men were deducted from their unemployment benefit; and will he see to it that Arthur Gray is given a warrant to return home, because he can live more cheaply with his parents than he can when he has to pay for lodgings in London?


I shall be glad to get into communication with the hon. Member if he wishes it. I think that his information rather differs from mine. I will do my best to find employment for miners in London where there are chances for them, but in particular cases sometimes they may get work and sometimes not. If the hon. Member wishes me to get into communication with him in regard to this case, I shall be glad to do so.


How can the Minister be giving every encouragement to getting work for miners when his own Department works overtime at the first opportunity, thereby showing a bad example to the rest of the employers in the country?


asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that the officials of the South Kirby Employment Exchange gave 40 miners instructions to proceed to Hatfield Main, some 15 miles distant, on 14th June, informing them that work was to he provided for them, that no railway fare was paid, and, after the men had walked this distance in the pouring rain, only one person was found employment; and will he cause inquiries to be made and prevent a repetition of such an action taking place.


I am having inquiries made, and will communicate with the hon. Member as soon as possible.