HC Deb 20 May 1943 vol 389 cc1206-7
3. Commander Bower

asked the Minister of Labour whether, having regard to the wide powers affecting the lives of large numbers of persons taken by the Control of Employment (Directed Persons) Order, 1943, No. 651, he will withdraw this Order and substitute a new Defence Regulation which can be debated?

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir. This Order does not take any additional powers to direct persons into employment. What it does is to provide safeguards as to conditions of employment for persons directed into employment under the existing powers provided by Defence Regulation 58A.

Commander Bower

Does not the Minister think that generally speaking, in the interests of democratic practice, it is advisable that this kind of change should be made by a new Defence Regulation which can be debated in the House and not by a subsidiary Order over which Parliament has no control?

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir. Defence Regulation 58A has given me power to direct all persons, and I see no reason for amending that power at the present moment. I think it is suitable procedure to safeguard people by means of Orders to protect them.

Mr. Thorne

Will my right Friend be careful when he is moving men and women about the country?

Mr. De la Bère

Further, will the right hon. Gentleman hear in mind that the small round-the-corner shopkeeper has got to be protected further than has been done?