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National War Effort

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 13 May 1943

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asked the Minister of Tabour whether he will make a statement on the holidays and week-end rests for all engaged in industry as there is a misapprehension on this matter?

The Government's views with regard to holidays for workpeople during this year were expressed in an announcement issued to the Press on 27th February last, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend. I have not been made aware of the misapprehension referred to by my hon. Friend, and if he will let me have details, I will do what I can to clear it up.

Is the Minister aware that owing to the stress of continued working the workers are not quite sure what holidays they are entitled to, and that to clear up this matter would be beneficial both to the workers and to the State? That is why the Question was put down.

Holidays vary for different industries, but the principle is the same. It my hon. Friend refers to miners, I have left it to the industry to settle. That is why it is difficult to give an answer covering every industry.

Would the Minister encourage employers to make reasonable agreements with the workers to work on holidays on which they are anxious to work?.

I doubt the wisdom of that. If holidays are organised for the purpose of giving reliefs from fatigue, I do not think I ought to play up to the other principle too much.

Uncompleted Houses, Staffordshire (Labour)


asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that there are two uncompleted houses in the neighbourhood of Madeley Collieries, Staffordshire, of which the brickwork is completed, the roofs on and the window frames and door frames fixed; and whether he will now release sufficient building labour to enable the houses to be completed?

I am having inquiries made and will communicate with my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Domestic Workers


asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now in a position to make a statement with regard to the setting-up of a committee to investigate the best way of organising the service of domestic workers?

I am still investigating this matter. My immediate concern is with the problems arising out of the shortage of domestic workers in hospitals and public institutions, in hostels and canteens, and also in private households when there is special need for such help owing to such circumstances as confinement or sickness. I hope to be in a position to make a statement on this phase of the problem at a fairly early date.

If I put a Question down again in a fortnight, would my right hon. Friend be in a position to make a more complete statement then?

Would the Minister also consider the possibility of drawing off some of the superfluous domestic workers from households which are employing too many, by means of the raising and lowering of the registration age and making those workers available for householders who need them more and who are having to do without domestic help altogether?

England and Wales.

31st March, 1938 (last complete figures available).
Number of public elementary schools maintained by local education authorities.Number of pupils on registers.
Council schools10,3633,513,032
Voluntary schools10,5531,522,244
On 31st March, 1943, there were 203 council schools and 495 voluntary schools on the black list. The number of pupils in these schools is not available.



asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the difficulties placed in the way of those who use horse-drawn transport for commercial purposes by reason of the call-up of farriers who, as distinct from blacksmiths, are alone expert in the shoeing of heavy commercial horses; and whether he will review the present position in order to ensure that an adequate number of expert farriers is left available for the work?

Applications for the deferment of call-up of farriers, liable for military service, are dealt with by District Man-Power Boards, and I have no reason to suppose that the present arrangements fail to ensure that an adequate number of such experts is retained to meet the requirements of industry. I may add that farriers are not called up unless required for a Service trade in which their skill as farriers would be utilised.

Council And Voluntary Schools


asked the President of the Board of Education Whether he will give the number of provided and non-provided schools in the country and the number of scholars attending such schools in each case; and the number of schools blacklisted, giving the figures separately for provided and non-provided schools and number of scholars?

As the answer contains a number of figures I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer: