§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
asked the Minister of National Service whether a notice has been issued to tribunals that joint committees of co-operative societies and representatives of the Ministry of National 2023W Service are to be set up as advisory committees to consider the exemption of certain classes of employés engaged in the retail distribution of food; and, if so, will the same opportunity be presented to recognised associations of traders engaged in the distribution of food?
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Minister of National Service whether he has issued a notice to tribunals to consider in a more lenient manner the cases of exemption of certain classes of co-operative employés engaged in retail food distribution; and, if so, whether, in view of the improvement in the military situation, he will consider extending this leniency to similar employés among private traders?
§ Sir A. GEDDES
I have nothing to add to the full reply which I gave yesterday to questions put by the hon. Members for Merthyr Tydvil and the Tower Hamlets. So far as I am aware, no notice has been issued to tribunals on the subject, but any question on that point should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board.
§ Sir W. RUTHERFORD
asked the Minister of National Service whether he received a letter from the hon. Member for Liverpool (West Derby Division), dated the 12th July instant, and a further letter, dated the 22nd July instant, calling his attention to Instruction 123, of 1918; whether the effect of such instruction is that in each region all over the country there will be a, Regional Advisory Committee of four members, empowered to consider the liability for military service of people employed by industrial co-operative societies, with a view to recommending their protection as indispensables engaged in the retail distribution of food; and whether he is aware that the issue of this instruction has caused dissatisfaction amongst thousands of shopkeepers engaged in the distribution of food and other necessaries of life, and especially the one-man-business owners, who are single-handed, and who thus see the co-operative societies favoured at their expense; and whether he proposes to take any action to remedy this inequality or to carry out any of the promises made from time to time, both publicly and privately, to the one-man-business owners, and more especially those between forty and fifty years of age with families?2024W
§ Sir A. GEDDES
I can add nothing to the full statement which I made yesterday in reply to the hon. Members for Merthyr Tydvil and the Tower Hamlets.