HC Deb 11 April 1928 vol 162 cc1238-40W

asked the Minister of Labour (1) if he is aware that a rota committee of the Darlaston Employment Committee was held on Tuesday, 20th March; who constituted the committee; the number of cases dealt with; and the number granted and refused, respectively;

(2) the names of those persons who constituted the Darlaston Employment Committee, and who were entitled to attend the meetings of the committee called between 11th December, 1917, and 12th April, 1921;

(3) whether he is aware that the Darlaston Employment Committee did not meet between April, 1921, and February, 1923; that during this period a large number of cases have been dealt with by sub-committees who had no legal standing, as the committee was due to he reconstituted in March, 1922; that on the 17th March, 1922, a number of labour representatives were appointed by the Ministry members of the committee for a period of three years; and that such members of the committee were not called to any meeting before February, 1923; whether he will state precisely what difficulties arose which could not he surmounted within a period of two years and which prevented the committee from being called together until 1923; whether the failure to call the committee was due to the action of the Employment Exchange manager or a divisional officer and, if so, who; and, seeing that, having regard to the extensive unemployment existing in Darlaston during the period under notice, the committee, if called, could have done much to mitigate the worst evils arising therefrom, will he make the fullest investigation into the matter?


At its meeting in April, 1921, the Darlaston Committee left the calling of the next meeting to the discretion of the chairman and secretary. The chairman was satisfied that the necessary work would be efficiently carried out through sub-committees, and did not consider it necessary to call a meeting of the full committee subsequently. In November, 1922, the then chairman resigned owing to ill-health and a further interval consequently occurred pending the appointment of the new chairman. A meeting of the reconstituted committee was held in February, 1923. I may add that during the interval no representations were made either to the Department or to the chairman for a meeting of the full committee. By directions issued under statutory regulations the term of office of the original committee was extended to the date of the first meeting of the reconstituted committee. Consequently the sub-committees of the original committee retained their powers in the interval and the members appointed to the reconstituted committee in 1922, including certain workers' representatives referred to in the question, did not enter formally upon their term of office until February, 1923. Having regard to these facts I do not think any further investigation is necessary. Two rota committees of the Darlaston Committee were held on 20th March and dealt with 64 applications for benefit of which 17 were granted and 47 refused. I do not think it desirable that the names of the members attending particular meetings of rota committees should be given. The members of the committee between December, 1917, and April, 1921, all of whom were invited to attend the meetings of the committee during their period of office, are as follows:

Employers' Panel

  • Mr. G. Richards (resigned 7th June, 1920).
  • Mr. G. Wiley.
  • Mr. E. O. Fellows.
  • Mr. J. Hemmings (resigned 7th June, 1920).
  • Mr. W. M. Winn, T.P.
  • Mr. A. E. Owen.
  • Mr. G. F. V. Richards.
  • 1240
  • Mr. W. H. Bostock.
  • Mr. J. G. Rose.
  • Mr. T. S. Mayer.

Workmen's Panel

  • Mr. Ernest Cressland.
  • Mr. J. Barratt.
  • Mr. E. W. Iliffe.
  • Mr. J. S. Howl.
  • Mr. S. Ashmore.
  • Mr. John James.
  • Miss E. Fellows.
  • Mr. A. Guy.
  • Mr. S. Hodson.
  • Mr. A. Nicklin.

Additional Members' Panel:

  • Mr. A. Slater (Chairman).
  • Major J. Lees.
  • Mr. Dick Wallis.

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