asked the Minister of Labour whether he can give the number of building trade operatives already released from the services under the Class B scheme and the number which it is estimated will be released under this scheme by 31st December, 1945, respectively.
The number of building operatives released in Class B between 16th July, when the Class B scheme came into operation, and 15th September, the latest date for which figures are available, is 3,829. In addition, 664 men were released in Class B to industries ancillary to building. It is not possible to say how many are likely to be released by 31st December, but the present programme of Class B releases provides for the release of 60,000 building operatives and 10,000 men for ancillary trades as quickly as possible.
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that many small building employers are advising their employees not to apply for Class B release from the services on the ground that they may get back to their original employers quicker if they wait for release under Class A, and whether, in view of the necessity of expediting the building programme, he will consider the possibility of allowing building trade operatives release from the Army providing solely that they return to the building trade and if they so desire, to their pre-war employers.
Releases of building workers under Class B are for the purpose of expediting the housing programme. The arrangements already provide for a man released in this way to be placed with his former employer if he will be employed on work connected with that programme.