asked the Minister of Labour whether it is the practice for the Employment Exchange to fill vacancies for employment in new or old industries in areas over which it has control from the persons unemployed in that area, and afterwards to draw from pools of unemployment existing in other areas; and what opportunities, when no more labour is required, will there be for obtaining employment in the case of those persons still unemployed in areas where no new industries will or can be established.
The arrangements for filling vacancies are not as rigid as the Question would suggest. As indicated in my reply to my hon. Friend on 11th October, when vacancies are notified to Employment Exchanges it is the normal practice to consider first whether there are persons suitable for submission to the employer among those on the local unemployed register. There are comprehensive and flexible arrangements for information about the vacancies notified at one exchange which cannot readily be filled, to be brought to the notice of other exchanges, either locally or over wider areas, including, where appropriate, the country as a whole. As regards the last part of the Question, the Employment Exchanges have many demands for labour at present which cannot be filled.
Is it not obvious that men unemployed in areas where there are no new industries will be at a disadvantage when compared with men who are unemployed in areas where factories have been established?
Until we get industry going that may be so, but the trouble is that it would put upon the exchanges the rather awkward problem of having to decide which men in town A should remain out of work and which men in town B should be brought in and given the jobs. It would be a difficult question of selection.
In view of the fact that the Minister's reply is still unsatisfactory, I beg to give notice that I propose to raise the matter on the Adjournment.