HC Deb 07 August 1941 vol 373 cc2069-70
6. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Labour whether persons following certain occupations can now be called upon by officers of Employment Exchanges to transfer their labour under penalty to occupations selected for them by those officers; and, if so, under what legal authority is this done?

Mr. Bevin

Yes, Sir. Under Regulation 58A of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, the Minister of Labour and National Service or any National Service officer duly appointed by him may direct any person in the United Kingdom to perform any service in the United Kingdom which the Minister considers him capable of performing.

Mr. Davies

May we take it, therefore, that we have now reached the stage of industrial conscription?

Mr. Bevin

The powers conferred upon the Minister were carried by the House unanimously.

Mr. Messer

Is there any safeguard that a person shall not be transferred to an employment at a rate of wages lower than he was receiving before?

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir. The House unanimously agreed that transfers to other work should carry work at the rate for the new job.

Forward to