HC Deb 19 January 1943 vol 386 cc30-1
45. Mr. Craven-Ellis

asked the Prime Minister whether he will give consideration to the appointment of a Minister of National Development at an early date with the responsibility of examining and working out plans with local authorities and industry which will assure employment to members of His Majesty's Forces when returning to civilian life, as well as to those now employed on the manufacture of arms and munitions?

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

The problem of the resettlement in peace-time employment of persons demobilised from the Forces and from war industries is engaging the close attention of the several Departments concerned, under the general direction of the Ministerial Committee on Reconstruction Problems, presided over by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister without Portfolio. I do not think the appointment of a further Minister is called for in this connection.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Would the Minister consider the issue of an interim report so that the Government may have the confidence of men who are now serving as to what their position will be when the war ends?

Mr. Attlee

I will certainly consider that point.

Mr. Bellenger

What is the position of the Government in this matter? Will they give the House, the country and the Services some indication before the war ends or is the matter to be left until immediately after the war?

Mr. Attlee

Certainly, an indication will be given at the proper time.

Mr. Austin Hopkinson

Is not the Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act sufficient indication that these people will not be given a fair chance in the industry of the future?