HC Deb 19 November 1936 vol 317 cc1888-90

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in order to get the maximum benefit from the transference of young girls from Special Areas to other towns to get employment in domestic service, he will so amend the exceptional circumstances clause that unemployment assistance boards will be authorised to snake payments to secure suitable clothes for persons so sent?

Lieut.-Colonel MUIRHEAD

The Unemployment Assistance Board informs me that as regards girls whose needs are included in unemployment allowances the Regulations require no amendment to permit of such payments being made where the facts show that a payment would be justified. I may add that such cases are generally covered by my Department's existing comprehensive arrangements for the supply of the necessary clothing and outfits either through the Central Committee on Women's Training and Employment or through the Juvenile Transference scheme.


Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there are many girls in different parts of the country who have endeavoured to get an allowance for this purpose and have failed? Will he see to it that the various boards are instructed to carry out the Regulations that have been approved by his Department?

Lieut. - Colonel MUIRHEAD

The machinery, as I have outlined it, in our opinion, is working satisfactorily.

24. Mr. WHITE

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is taking any action to discourage young untrained girls from coming to London to take up domestic service; and whether he is aware that girls often have to work in places where there is no proper sleeping accommodation and no fitting conditions with regard to holidays, wages or meals?

Lieut.-Colonel MUIRHEAD

There is no reason why girls without previous specialised training should be discouraged from coming to London or to other places to take up domestic service, provided that proper precautions are taken to see that they enter situations offering satisfactory conditions, and there is, I may say, an ample supply of situations of this description. It has been represented to the Department that girls are brought to London by unofficial agencies and put into situations which turn out to be unsatisfactory. This is a matter for which the Ministry can accept no responsibility, but they have taken and will take every practicable step to make known the facilities which the Department offers, which include, in the case of juveniles, very careful arrangements for safeguarding the welfare, particularly of young girls who enter a situation away from home.


Is it not possible for the Department to consider collecting information with a view to preparing a list of those unofficial agents who bring girls to London and leave them stranded here?

Lieut.-Colonel MUIRHEAD

I do not want to do that, but I would appeal to hon. Members to get over the difficulty by themselves making known as widely as possible the excellent arrangements that are made in this connection by the Ministry of Labour.


Cannot the Minister of Labour get in touch with the London County Council who are responsible for the registration of employment agencies?


Cannot the Department bring the matter before the London County Council who are perfectly prepared to deal with it, and to find a remedy?


Cannot the Department take steps to get in touch with the Home Office and standardise the conditions and hours of labour for these young girls?