HC Deb 27 January 1944 vol 396 cc832-3
9. Mr. Rhys Davies

asked the Minister of Labour in how many cases the employer has refused, under the Essential Work Order, to reinstate a workman at the instance of the National Service Officer; and what action his Department has taken as the result of any such refusal.

Mr. Bevin

Information showing the exact position in individual cases of this kind is not readily available, and I should not feel justified in authorising the expenditure of the time and labour that would be involved in collecting it. It is my policy to institute proceedings in such cases wherever I am advised that the necessary evidence exists to secure a conviction.

Mr. Rhys Davies

What sort of diseased imagination does the Minister think exists where the Minister can prosecute work-people for violating his Regulations and let an employer go scot free for violating the same Regulations?

Mr. Bevin

That is another piece of bad imagination. I do not do it.

Sir Herbert Holdsworth

Is it not a fact that employers, as well as employees, do try to carry out the intentions of the Minister regarding the Essential Work Order?

Mr. Bevin

In the bulk of the cases; but there are a few exceptions, and only a few, on either side.