HC Deb 20 November 1930 vol 245 cc588-9

asked the Minister of Labour whether she is aware of the inconvenience caused to dock labourers at the Liverpool docks having to report morning and afternoon each working day, when unemployed, at the various clearing houses; that many of the men, particularly those from the new housing areas (the omnibus fare from which is 3d.), have to remain in the vicinity of the docks (after being unable to obtain work on the 8 a.m. stand, and knowing there is no prospect of work at 1 p.m.) for no other reason than to report their unemployment in the afternoon; and whether she will make regulations to make it sufficient for an unemployed docker to report after the 8 a.m. stand only?


Inquiries show that engagements do in fact take place at both the morning and the afternoon calls and, in order to secure employment, it is necessary for these men to attend at one or other of the call places on both occasions; therefore, there is no special inconvenience in their having to attend a clearing house to sign the unemployed register if not engaged. Under the present system, therefore, my hon. Friend's suggestion cannot be adopted.


Is it not a fact that these conditions do not only apply to Liverpool, but to every other port; and is the right hon. Lady aware of the fact that shipyard workers, whose employment is equally casual, have only to sign on twice a week, instead of twice a day?


Is the right hon. Lady aware that these conditions exist in Salford docks with the same general resentment?


I am aware that this is a general condition at the docks, but, as long as this system obtains, I cannot see a better method for signing on. The clearing house is the most convenient for this purpose.


Would the right hon. Lady's Department not, object if any change in this direction were proposed? If the unions arrange a different system so as to reduce the number of visits, would the right hon. Lady be opposed to that change?


Certainly not.

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