HC Deb 22 November 1945 vol 416 cc592-3
50 and 51. Mr. R. A. Butler

asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether he is aware that the administration of the Control of Engagement Order is becoming more difficult to operate; and whether he is in a position to announce any relaxation of this Order; and

(2) whether he is now in a position to announce the policy of the Government on the future of labour controls.

63. Mr. Skeffington

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider removing the provisions of the Essential Work Order from all male labour over 42 years of age.

Mr. Isaacs

I propose to make a comprehensive statement shortly about labour controls, and I would ask hon. Members to allow me to deal with the whole Question together.

Mr. Butler

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there has been very considerable delay in dealing with this matter, in which both sides in industry are interested? Is he further aware that these Regulations are at present being defied, and is he taking proper action to see that they are enforced?

Mr. Isaacs

That there has been delay is admitted, but it is not avoidable delay.

It is necessary to examine the question of labour control, the right of men to seek employment, and the right of a man to choose whom he wishes to employ, at the same time as the other economic controls and the urgent need of certain industries for work of vital importance. The whole thing is being examined together, and I hope it will be possible to make a statement shortly.

Mr. Butler

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell the House of any other country in the world where, in peacetime, women are subjected to the control there is now?

Mr. Isaacs

I think I have quite enough to answer for in this country.

Mr. Stephen

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the delay is due to the ineptitude of his immediate predecessor?