HC Deb 27 July 1936 vol 315 cc1086-9
53. Mr. LUNN

asked the Minister of Labour how many local advisory committees are to be set up in the West Riding of Yorkshire, including the towns and cities in the Riding, by the Unemployment Assistance Board; in what areas are they located; and will he give the names of the chairmen and, if possible, the members of the advisory committees?


Nine local advisory committees are being set up by the Board to serve the county area of the West Riding of Yorkshire and the towns and cities in the Riding. With the hon. Member's permission, my right hon. Friend will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table showing the areas allocated to each of these committees and the names of the chairmen. Substantial progress has been made in the appointment of the members of all these committees, but for none of them has it yet reached a stage at which it would be proper to publish a list.


Is it not a fact that the main qualification to become a chairman of one of those advisory committees is that you must be a well known supporter of the Government?


I have no information on the subject, but if the hon. Member would like to know, I suggest that he put down another question.

Following is the table:

Advisory Committees serving the West Riding of Yorkshire:

57. Brigadier-General SPEARS

asked the Minister of Labour who advises the Unemployment Assistance Board in their choice of chairmen of advisory committees; and whether he will take steps to prevent the board appointing to these posts large employers of labour and persons closely and publicly associated with any political party?


The appointment of the chairmen and members of the advisory committees is entrusted to the Unemployment Assistance Board by Section 35 (3) of the Unemployment Act, 1934, and is in no way under my right hon. Friend's control. My right hon. Friend is informed that before making the appointments of chairmen the board take advantage of a variety of local sources of responsible advice. The persons selected by the board are for the most part not actively associated with any political party, but they include both employers of labour and persons associated with organisations of workpeople selected entirely on the basis of their personal qualifications and irrespective of political affiliations.

Brigadier-General SPEARS

If the name of the chairman of such a committee was given to the right hon. Gentleman and that gentleman was a large employer of labour and was associated very closely with a political party, would steps be taken to replace him?


If my hon. and gallant Friend has any complaint to make, he had better address it in writing to the Minister.


May I ask, if the hon. Member can speak on the point, whether there is one chairman of any committee suggested who is a member of a trade union or of one of the organised bodies mentioned?


Is it not a fact that the appointment of these chairmen is not in the hands of the Minister of Labour but in the hands of the chairman of the Unemployment Assistance Board? I have just come up in the train with one man who said that he had written to ask him if he would take a job, and he is a blue-blooded Tory.


Perhaps the hon. Member will put down that question.