§ 3. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement as to the occupations which he intends to treat as reserved occupations for the purpose of the recall of Reservists and in an emergency.
§ 10. Mr. A. R. W. Low
asked the Minister of Labour what are the occupations in which men will be reserved for industry in the event of general mobilisation, referred to in paragraph 5 of Command Paper 8146.
§ Mr. Bevan
These lists are at present purely provisional and subject to change from time to time. Consultation on them with the two sides of industry is about to begin, and they could not at this stage usefully be published. On security grounds it is desirable not to publish them earlier than necessary.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
is it the right hon. Gentleman's intention to publish them before their effect indirectly becomes apparent owing to the selection of men for call up as Z reservists this summer?
§ Mr. Low
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is on the other side of the balance sheet, as it were, an enormous advantage to be gained by cer- 1907 tainty in this matter both from the points of view of the person concerned and of his own Department? The Service Departments may be guilty of counting men twice unless they know whether they are reserved or not.
4. Mr. Macdonald
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give an assurance that in occupations where there will be a selective call-up, Class Z reservists will, wherever possible, be given the opportunity of deferred positions in preference to those persons who were in these positions during the last war.
Why would it be impracticable in the case of certain reserved occupations in which there may be surplus manpower at present? If any have to go can it not be those who were able to dodge the last war?
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
Could the Minister explain what is the position of Members of Parliament who are in the Z Reserve?
8. Mr. Macdonald
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give an assurance that all men who are now less than 50 years of age and were in reserved occupations during the last war will be vetted to see whether their present jobs are such as to leave them free to be amongst the first to be called up for active service, in place of some of the Class Z reservists.
Apart from the present call up of Z reservists, if men are called up at a later period for a longer term, or if hostilities break out, could not this vetting take place?
§ Brigadier Head
Would the Minister bear in mind, nevertheless, that there are large numbers of skilled men in civil life, possibly not now in reserved occupations, whose occupation in civil life is closely similar to that which they could do in the Forces in war, and that special units of such men might represent a big saving of manpower, and be of great value to the Forces?
§ Mr. Bevan
They would also be a loss to their industrial occupation. We have to consider and balance the requirements of the Services and of civil occupations. It would be no use calling up men for the Services who would not have arms, because we would not have men in civil occupations to make them.