HC Deb 25 January 1945 vol 407 cc946-8
13. Mr. Silkin

asked the Minister of Labour whether the reoganisation of the appointments department recommended by Lord Hankey's Committee on Higher Appointments will have the effect of restricting the engagement of persons normally employed in a managerial capacity.

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir. The sole object of re-organising the Appointments Department is to create a specialised service on the same lines as the employment exchange service to meet the needs of men and women who are seeking higher appointments than those normally dealt with in the employment exchanges. Such a service is vital for men and women from the Forces whose resettlement in civil employment will be of supreme importance and it will be closely linked with the facilities for further education and business training which I have arranged. In general, however, engagements of persons employed in a managerial capacity are not subject to control at present, and it is not my intention that the engagement by employers of persons normally employed in an administrative, managerial or executive capacity should be controlled after the termination of hostilities in Europe. All employers have the right of decing whether or not any person submitted by an appointments office should be engaged and they will, of course, retain that right in future.

Mr. Silkin

Will my right hon. Friend do all he can to encourage employers to use the facilities which he has provided?

Mr. Bevin

Yes, Sir. I am in touch with industry, and I must say that industry as a whole, with few exceptions, is responding very well. I have discussed the matter with representatives of industry. The arrangement I have made is that, assuming that a young man has been for five years in the war and has ability, leadership, power of supervision and all that kind of thing, I am to ascertain what kind of training I should give him to make up that gap and to fit him for a post. The employers and myself are in close consultation, together with Government Departments, to try not merely to get a man sent forward for an appointment, but to make him fit for the appointment, if I can possibly do so.

Sir Granville Gibson

Will any pressure be brought to bear upon industrialists to take these men for higher posts?

Mr. Bevin

No, Sir, I am not putting pressure upon them. I shall try to persuade them. What we must not do is to leave thousands of young men and women at the end of this war, after they have enjoyed rather higher status in one of the Services, simply to be thrown back and left in a hopeless position.

14. Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent administrative changes foreshadowed in the Report on Higher Appointments (Cmd. 6576) have already been put into operation; and particularly whether appointment officers of his Ministry now settle eligibility for assistance under the further education scheme and also dissuade applicants who, in their opinion, are unsuitable.

Mr. Bevin

A number of the most important changes recommended in the Report on Higher Appointments have already been put into operation. In particular, arrangements are being made for the appointments offices to deal with questions affecting eligibility of applicants under the Further Education and Training Scheme, and in appropriate cases to advise applicants on choice of career.

Mr. Lindsay

In view of the great importance of this White Paper, would my right hon. Friend consider asking the Leader of the House for an opportunity for a Debate upon it, in conjunction with the scheme for further education? A number of questions arise out of it, affecting men as they are being demobilised.

Mr. Bevin

It is not for me to make such arrangements, Debates being normally arranged through the usual channels. I would also ask my hon. Friend to consider whether it is wise to debate one isolated operation of the Ministry of Labour, when all parts of the plan dovetail one into another.

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