HC Deb 20 February 1924 vol 169 cc1810-1W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he received a petition, dated 29th January, 1924, from the Welfare Committee, Government Instructional Factory, Twickenham, detailing a series of suggestions for the better working of the training scheme and offering to send a. joint deputation of representatives of the trainees and of the instructors; whether he is aware that on the 7th instant the Divisional Director of Industrial Training visited Twickenham, ostensibly to inquire into the suggestions, but in reality to censure the men whose signatures were attached for having sent the petition, and that on the same date the man who signed the petition on behalf of the trainees was suspended, without previous warning, on the pretext of smoking after the dinner hour; and, in view of the general dissatisfaction at this factory, whether he, will order a full inquiry to be made at which the instructors and trainees will be freely allowed to state their case without the fear of victimisation?


I have received the petition referred to in the first part of the question, and am considering it. I am informed that the Divisional Director of Industrial Training visited Twickenham on the 7th February, on the Department's instructions, to look into certain points arising out of the petition and to inquire why one of the instructors had signed a petition purporting to come from the Welfare Committee, of which he is not a member. He did not see and did not censure the trainee who signed the petition. The trainee had quite properly been suspended by the manager on that day for a flagrant breach of the rule against smoking during working hours, after verbal and written warnings. He has since been reinstated. The manager at the time did not know that he had signed the petition, which had not, been sent through him in the usual way. There is no evidence of general dissatisfaction existing at Twickenham, nor is there any reason for either instructors or trainees to fear victimization.

Back to