32. Mr. RHYS DAVIS
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that the temporary employment of certain ex-service men in the Inland Revenue Department terminated last December; that although there is pressure of work resulting in overtime there appears to be no prospect of their early re-engagement; that if they are not re-employed by August next the seniority they have earned lapses, with consequent loss of increment; and whether he will state the intentions of the Government regarding these ex-service men who are unable to find employment elsewhere?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
The temporary employés in question were engaged by the Inland Revenue Department for periods varying from four to eight weeks for routine work of a seasonal nature. When that work came to an end there was no other work on which they could be employed. The overtime at present being performed in tax offices is on work of a technical nature, such as claims for repayment of Income Tax, on which untrained staff cannot be employed. The Government cannot regard itself as being under any special obligation to absorb into permanent employment men who are engaged to perform purely temporary work for short periods, but ex-service men in general, provided that they are competent to do the work to be performed, are given a preference over others for temporary employment in the Government service.