§ Lieut.-Colonel POWNALL
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if he 1543W is aware that of the ex-service men recently discharged from Government Departments there are over 1,800 awaiting re-allocation through the pool of the Joint Substitution Board and still unemployed, while the Returns submitted by Departments of His Majesty's Government to that board show that there are over 4,500 women retained in the posts admitted to be substitutable under the provisions of the Reports of Lord Lytton's Committee; and whether he can, in view of these facts, give an undertaking that all the ex-service men referred to shall receive an offer of re-employment in the Government service before the end of this month?
The number of ex-service men upon the Joint Substitution Board's pool is approximately as stated. A considerable number of these men have not yet been discharged from their present Departments, and a proportion of them will probably be retained therein. The 4,500 women estimated to remain in substitutable posts are in many cases employed on work which is rapidly terminating, and their replacement by new personnel on the e[...]e of the completion of their tasks would be extremely wasteful. In other cases substitution by ex-service men is proceeding as rapidly as is consistent with the efficient conduct of the business of the Departments, in view of the fact that these women are the residue left of a much larger number by a continuous and severe process of substitution. Two and a-half years ago the comparable figure of the number of substitutable women was between 80,000 and 90,000.
§ Viscountess ASTOR
asked the Minister of Labour whether any efforts are being made to place unemployed overseas ex-service women in Edinburgh or elsewhere in Government offices through the Joint Substitution Board in preference to home-service men; and, if so, how many have been placed during the last three months?
I have been asked to reply. For the purposes of substitution, ex-service men and ex-service women are treated alike. The Joint Substitution Board, in recommending ex-service personnel for re-allocation on discharge from Government Departments, accords a preference to those, whether men or women, who are disabled, or who have served1544W overseas. The number of women in these categories who have been reported within the last three months to the Board as redundant in their existing Departments is negligible, and no overseas ex-service women appear actually to have been appointed to Government Departments in Edinburgh through the Board's machinery during that period.