HC Deb 24 February 1938 vol 332 c519
15. Mr. Ammon

asked the Minister of Labour why the Employment Exchanges were unable to give the necessary guidance to unemployed ex-service men who were advised, in an announcement issued by the War Office, that there were a number of positions vacant for which application was to be made through the local Employment Exchanges?

Mr. E. Brown

I am glad to have the opportunity of clearing up any misunderstanding on this matter. The announcement to which the hon. Member refers stated that the War Office had reaffirmed and emphasised previous instructions to their factories, depots, etc., that ex-service men should be employed to the maximum extent possible. It appears to have been interpreted to mean that there were at the present time a large number of suitable vacancies actually available for ex-service men at War Department establishments, but this did not follow from the announcement, which was of a general nature and affected vacancies as and when they occur. Instructions have been issued to the Employment Exchanges reminding them of the desire of the War Office to employ ex-service men whenever possible, and ex-service men registered at the Exchanges may rest assured that they will be considered, according to the circumstances for suitable openings in War Department establishments as they occur.

Mr. Amnion

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that this shows a bad lack of co-ordination by his Department.

Mr. Brown

I cannot say that; but there is a misunderstanding about it, and I am obliged to the hon. Member for putting the question down.