HC Deb 23 March 1933 vol 276 c479
10. Mr. JOEL

asked the Minister of Labour the nature of the answer sent by the British Government to the questionnaire of the International Labour Office on the abolition of fee-charging employment agencies?


I think it will be convenient to my hon. Friend if I give the answer in full as supplied to the International Labour Office. As this answer is long, I will, if I may, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT

Following is the answer His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom regret that they are unable to complete the questionnaire on the subject of the abolition of fee-charging employment agencies, since they do not agree with the assumption upon which the questionnaire is based, that the abolition of such agencies is desirable in principle. In their view a fee-charging employment agency which is conducted with due regard to the public interest, subject to such measures of regulation as may be thought essential, is a legitimate form of private enterprise. His Majesty's Government further consider that such agencies provide a specialised service of which the public ought not to be deprived unless and until the national employment exchanges are so developed and extended as to provide an alternative service. In that event the public would no doubt use the employment exchanges rather than fee-charging employment agencies. His Majesty's Government, therefore, are opposed to abolition, which, apart from the question of principle involved, would tend to create hardship and public inconvenience, but are in favour of a policy of gradual development of national employment exchanges to provide such services as are required by the public. His Majesty's Government rely on local authorities in the United Kingdom to obviate the possibility of abuse under the powers which they may exercise in accordance with existing legislation or n pursuance of private Acts.