§ 1. Mr. Hale
asked the Secretary of State for War what industries have now agreed, since 29th June, to give credits under their holidays-with-pay scheme for the period of 15 days of annual military training; which industries still refuse to give such credits; and what further action is contemplated.
§ The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Antony Head)
I have been into this matter and can find no widespread complaints. As far as I am able to find out, the majority of employers give credits even when it is not obligatory.
§ Mr. Hale
If the Parliamentary Secretary has been into this matter, surely he is aware that we raised a specific complaint some months ago particularly referring to the building industry? One of the right hon. Gentleman's colleagues then said that he thought that a policy of masterly military inactivity would produce some result. Has it produced any result? Is the building industry doing anything about it, or are these people still being swindled out of their stamps?
§ Mr. Head
The hon. Gentleman has made some sweeping and, in some cases, rather inaccurate statements. It was not my colleague but myself who dealt with 1012 the complaint to which the hon. Member referred, and I am not the Parliamentary Secretary. Those inaccuracies apart, the Government have no power to make it a statutory obligation for these people to pay for these stamps. I have made inquiries, and apart from the case which the hon. Member himself brought forward, I have not found that this is happening on a widespread scale. If the hon. Member can let me know of other cases, I shall go into the matter with the Minister of Labour again, but as far as I can find out people are voluntarily behaving well in this matter.
§ Mr. Hale
I apologise for reducing the right hon. Gentleman to acting rank, but surely he is aware that this applies to the whole industry? He said on the previous occasion, as I understood him, that it did apply to the whole industry. Surely in those circumstances he proposes to do something about it?
§ Mr. Head
No, Sir. I have here the answer I gave on the previous occasion. I did not say that it applied to the whole industry; neither did the hon. Member himself. He brought to my notice a specific instance. If he now says that it does apply to the whole industry and he can bring forward facts and figures to maintain that allegation, I shall certainly look into the matter.