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Forestry Training (Mr A Riley)

Volume 155: debated on Tuesday 20 June 1922

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asked the hon. Member for Monmouth, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether, in connection with the case of Mr. A. Riley, he is aware that this man holds a testimonial from the forester in Yorkshire, part of which states that Riley was handicapped by ill-health due to the exposed position where the work lay; that the Yorkshire divisional officer stated to a Manchester firm that he could not supply a detailed character of Riley as the time the man worked was so much interrupted by health stoppages, or words to that effect; that, prior to entering the course of training, Riley was informed that the training aimed at enabling a disabled soldier to become a useful woodman, nurseryman, or the like, i.e., a skilled forest workman; that, since Riley's course of training, a Manchester firm has been informed, in connection with his application for employment, that the training aimed at turning out woodmen, i.e., workmen (labourers) more or less skilled; and whether, in view of the disparity of these two latter statements and of the prejudicial effect upon Riley's chances of employment, and in view also of Riley's excellent record at the training school at Brockenhurst, he will have further inquiries made into this case and give instructions for Riley to be supplied with an accurate certificate as to his employment under the Commissioners?

I am aware that Mr. A. Riley holds a testimonial from the forester in Yorkshire, but it is incorrectly quoted in this question; I am aware of the statement by the Yorkshire divisional officer referred to; also of the information given to Riley prior to his entering the course as to the aim of the training at Brockenhurst School, and of the information on the same subject given to a Manchester firm since Riley's course of training; the Forestry Commissioners do not consider that there is any disparity in the information given, the statements being similar in meaning nor do they consider that either statement has any prejudicial effect upon Riley's chance of employment on work for which he may be suitable; the Forestry Commissioners have made the fullest inquiries into this case; they do not propose to give instructions for Riley to be supplied with any further testimonial as to his employment under them; in view of the Divisional Officer's Report of which Riley was informed by the Assistant Commissioner by letter of 6th May last, no testimonial which the Commissioners could supply would be likely to assist this man in obtaining employment on forestry work.