HC Deb 19 June 1941 vol 372 cc813-4
46. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to the declaration on 14th June, by the Minister of Labour and National Service, that criticism about absenteeism nauseated him and a lot of nonsense was talked about it; and whether, in view of the serious criticism upon absenteeism contained in the Fifteenth Report from the Select Committee on National Expenditure, published one month ago, this statement represents the considered view of His Majesty's Government on this matter?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend informs me that he was not referring to informed criticism of the kind made in the Fifteenth Report of the Select Committee, which rightly differentiated between avoidable and unavoidable absenteeism, but was condemning exaggerated statements based on individual instances without proper examination of the facts. The Government is in general agreement with the views expressed by the Select Committee on absenteeism and has already taken action to give effect so far as practicable to its recommendations.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire whether there is greater absenteeism in these factories than among Members of Parliament in respect of their duties here?