HC Deb 20 January 1943 vol 386 c211
51. Captain Sir Ian Fraser

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether, in view of the fact that discussions about post-war social security must necessarily be influenced by the post-war employment situation, and having regard to the great interest amongst members of the Armed Forces in the post-war policy as it will affect them when they are ex-Service men, he can state the Government's plans to secure or promote employment generally; and whether ex-Servicemen as a whole, and ex-fighting men in particular, will be assured of a preference for employment?

Sir W. Jowitt

As I have stated in reply to previous Questions, inquiries are actively proceeding into the many aspects of the problem of providing full employment after the war. My hon. and gallant Friend will realise that the detailed policy to be adopted must largely depend upon the nature of any international settlement which may be arrived at. All the Departmental Ministers concerned have this problem constantly before them. I cannot go into greater detail, but I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the Government attach the highest importance to the solution of this problem.

Sir I. Fraser

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that the ordinary serving soldier, being a wise man, is very sceptical about international arrangements for trade, and about a "better Britain"? He may want it, but he is sceptical about its realisation. What he would understand is a promise that he will have a preference for employment when he comes back from a distant theatre of war. Could the Government promise that?

Sir W. Jowitt

No, Sir; I am not in a position to make any further statement.

Mr. Hopkinson

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman realise that as long as the Pre-War Practices Act is in operation it is impossible to promise these men employment after the war, and that while this Act holds any Government promises are nonsense and humbug?

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