HC Deb 28 June 1920 vol 131 cc54-5W

Lieut.-Colonel CROFT asked the Minister of Labour whether a card has been sent from the Woolston Employment Exchange to a young lady residing in Aldershot, notifying her that there is a vacancy for a metal filer; and whether, since this work is usually regarded as a man's job, and in view of the fact that there are numerous ex-service men still seeking employment, he will discourage such attempts to employ women until all the surplus ex-service labour of a suitable character is absorbed?

Dr. MACNAMARA: The vacancies in this case were for women filers, and the firm stated that none but former employés would be considered. I understand that further hands were temporarily required for urgent work which had to be completed by a fixed date, and accordingly only experienced workers would be of any use. I am most anxious to encourage the employment of ex-service men, but I doubt whether in this case—a special temporary job—advantage would have been gained by pressing for the appointment of ex-service men. The firm is, I understand, already employing about 20 per cent. of ex-service men, and has recently found openings for two disabled men as storekeeper and weighman respectively. The firm, I am further informed, state that in the future, as in the past, they desire to give preference to ex-service men.