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Palestine Reservists (Employment)

Volume 319: debated on Tuesday 2 February 1937

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will collect and publish the names and addresses of all the firms which have refused to reengage the reservists who recently were compelled to leave their employment in order to go to Palestine?

I doubt if the compilation of an exhaustive list is feasible, while it would be unfair to those employers who have been prevented, by circumstances beyond their control, from taking reservists back into employment.

If the right hon. Gentleman cannot see his way to publish the names and addresses, will he consider the advisability of making them available for Members of this House, so that they can take what action they may think fit in any particular case?

I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that as far as I am aware no employers have deliberately refused to take these men back into their employment. Some of them had temporary employment only and in some cases works had closed down while the men were absent. In nearly every case that I have investigated the employers have done their best to reinstate the men.


asked the Secretary of State for War how many of the 500 Army reservists now unemployed on their return from Palestine were in employment when called up for service?


asked the Secretary of State for War how many of the reservists returned from Palestine were re-engaged in their jobs; how many have found new situations; and how many who were in employment before going to Palestine are now unemployed?

Of 2,145 reservists who have communicated with the War Office since their return from Palestine, 1,600 are recorded as having been in employment when called up, and at least 1,134 of these have been reinstated by their former employers. A further 303 are known to have secured other employment. Three hundred and one of the 2,145 reservists were registered on 25th January last as unemployed; 79 of these were in employment when called up.

Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that the public ought to know the employers' reasons for not reinstating them?

As I pointed out in reply to previous supplementary questions, the employers in nearly every case have done their very best to employ these men. There are more of these men in employment than at the time when they went out to Palestine. There are 200 more in employment now than last week, and 400 more than at the time when this question was first raised some weeks ago.

Are the Government considering taking into their employment an additional number of these men?

I have not made any particular effort to get these men into Government employment, and I do not know whether they would qualify for Government employment, but the figures really are not unsatisfactory.

Will the right hon. Gentleman put pressure on Government Departments to take on more of these men?