HC Deb 29 June 1944 vol 401 cc769-71
1. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour how many men and women discharged from His Majesty's Forces are registered as unemployed at the employment exchanges.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

I regret that the information for which my hon. Friend asks is not available.

Miss Ward

In order that we may see whether the machinery for absorbing ex-Servicemen and women into employment is effective, will the right hon. Gentleman see that a special register is kept of these men and women, otherwise we shall have no chance of making any comments about the machinery?

Mr. Bevin

I will consider that, but I am against too much segregation of the people who use the employment exchanges.

3. Mr. Walter Edwards

asked the Minister of Labour whether he intends to make any special provision for advising men and women released from war service at the conclusion of hostilities about matters relating to their resettlement in civil life.

Mr. Bevin

Yes, Sir. The Government have decided that a special service, under the control of the Ministry of Labour and National Service, shall be set up for this purpose. I am accordingly making plans to establish Resettlement Advice Offices, as an extension of the existing service given by the Department in all parts of the country. The function of these offices will be to give advice and information to all men and women released from the Forces or from other forms of war service, and to render every possible assistance to them in dealing with their resettlement problems. By providing these centres, at which such persons may seek assistance whatever their requirement; may be, we intend not only to help them to solve their difficulties but also to save them avoidable journeys and inquiries. The work of these offices will be dovetailed in with that of my outside Welfare Officers and will be co-ordinated with that of the voluntary organisations.

Mr. Edwards

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware how much his action will be appreciated by the people concerned?

Mr. Mathers

Will my right hon. Friend bring this organisation into operation as quickly as possible, to meet the needs of those who are now being discharged from the Forces?

Mr. Bevin

Yes, Sir, steps have already been taken towards that end. I propose to deal with the matter in this way in order that men can be helped by whatever Department may be affected.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Is it my right hon. Friend's intention, in scattered areas, such as Fife, for instance, where there are many small burghs, to have an adviser in each of the main towns, and not simply an adviser at one centre, such as Kirkcaldy?

Mr. Bevin

The organisation is being worked out, and I may be able to make a further statement later.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will my right hon. Friend consult the representatives of the various organisations which have great experience in this matter, in order that the machine may function as efficiently as possible?

Mr. Bevin

I said that I proposed to co-operate with the various agencies.