§ Mr. J. Hall
asked the Minister of Labour what representations he has re- 478W ceived as to the age of reservation under the Schedule of Reserved Occupations and Protected Work for funeral directors, coffin makers and drivers of hearses; and whether he is now able to make a statement on this matter?
§ Mr. Assheton
My right hon. Friend has considered the position in the light of the present man-power situation and can make no concession in the case of hearse drivers, but in the case of funeral directors it has been decided to postpone the withdrawal of their reservation to stage C, the age of reservation being raised to 35 at stage B. As regards coffin makers, who are not due to be de-reserved until stage C, investigations are not yet complete. The deferment procedure will be available to enable men in exceptional circumstances to be retained, but my right hon. Friend asks undertakers to consider the pooling of their resources in order to assist in the release of men for the Forces. I would add that he looks to undertakers and to the public to help the country at this difficult time by accepting a simplification in the customary conduct of funerals.