HC Deb 12 February 1931 vol 248 cc567-8
28. Captain P. MACDONALD

asked the Minister of Labour whether she proposes to introduce a measure providing for the decasualisation of labour in the dock, harbour, canal, and building industries, and other industries employing large numbers of unskilled and semiskilled workers; and, if not, what steps she proposes to take to prevent distress due to the methods of seeking employment in such occupations?


The dock industry with some assistance from my Department has taken certain steps with a view to decasualisation by the establishment in many ports, of registration committees which control the entrance of registered workpeople into the industry. Moreover, the whole question, as it affects the Port Transport Workers' Industry, is being examined by a Committee under the chairmanship of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Cornwall whose report I am awaiting. No corresponding steps as regards the other industries mentioned are at present in contemplation but I should point out that it is the primary object of the Employment Exchanges to facilitate the process of engagement of workpeople in such cases and that unemployment benefit is available for those who are unemployed.


Can the right hon. Lady say how long the committee presided over by a right hon. Gentleman from the Liberal benches has been in existence?


It was in existence at the time of the hon. Member's Government, and then it became moribund. I revived it as a Departmental Committee of inquiry, and I hope to have the report shortly.