Mr. A. T. DAVIES
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered Form Z 8 issued by his Department; whether his Department can cite one instance where these forms have been of any use in finding work for unemployed people or for plant that is standing idle; whether such forms merely finds work for officials; and whether, alternatively, he will state of what practical value Form Z 8 is and what percentage of employers applied to for returns fill them up?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I have carefully considered the question of issuing Form Z 8, which has recently been transferred from the Board of Trade to my Department, and have come to the conclusion that, while it is highly desirable that the information derived from this enquiry should be at the disposal of the Government and of the Members of this House, it is no longer necessary to issue the form at such frequent intervals as heretofore. The enquiry will, therefore, in ordinary circumstances not be issued more frequently than twice a year. Meanwhile, I am examining the form closely to see whether it can be simplified and curtailed. Obviously, the issue of the return does not find work for the unemployed, but in dealing with questions of Unemployment, we must have the1468W fullest information. The percentage of employers who fill up these returns varies in the different industries, the highest percentage in the April, 1920, Return being 89 per cent., while the lowest was 61 per cent. Taking all trades together, the percentage was 73 per cent.