asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that two subordinate officers employed in the area office of the Unemployment Assistance Board at York have been compulsorily transferred as a result of reports rendered by them to their official superiors relating to alleged irregular acts on the part of the officer immediately in charge of the York area; that the staff organisation representing these two men have produced evidence to the headquarters of the board in support of the charges made; and that the officer in charge of the area office has conveyed to members of his staff an expression of his displeasure that they should belong to their recognised staff association; and whether he will consult with the chairman of the Unemployment Assistance Board with a view to his reconsidering his refusal to receive a deputation from the recognised staff association in respect of these matters?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the third part, the board are satisfied with the manner in which the officer in charge has conducted the York area office and that he has not discouraged members of his staff from exercising their rights as civil servants to belong to a staff association. As regards the second and fourth parts of the question, the whole circumstances of the case were made the subject of a special inquiry at the headquarters of the board in the course of which the two officers in question, assisted by representatives of their staff association, were given the fullest opportunity of submitting their representations. The chairman of the board, with whom I have been in consultation in the matter, informs me that he sees no grounds for reconsidering his refusal to receive a deputation on a matter which has already been the subject of careful and detailed investigation.