HC Deb 11 November 1943 vol 393 cc1264-5
16. Mr. Tinker

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give consideration to improving the Essential Work Order, so as to make it compulsory on an employer not to discharge a man when the National Service officer has sanctioned his release, if the man objects to being released, until the tribunal has reached a decision as this change would prevent the loss of man labour which happens now?

Mr. Bevin

My hon. Friend's suggestion would mean that action would have to be suspended for a substantial period in all cases when an employer wished to terminate an engagement, and similarly a workman who applied for release would have to wait for a corresponding period in case his employer wished to appeal. I regret that I cannot see my way to introduce these general delays for the sake of meeting the small number of cases of difficulty which arise.

Mr. Tinker

When my right hon. Friend comes to examine the Essential Work Order, which wants some improvement, will he consider this point and try to get it remedied?

Mr. Bevin

I have considered it, and I do not want the House to be under any delusion. This is a two-sided case. No one would complain more bitterly than the workman at having to wait for the result of an appeal, which would arise if I amended the Order on the lines suggested.