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Demobilisation

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 29 November 1945

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Post Office Workers

53.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will increase the number of Class B releases to the Post Office in view of the fact that the efficiency of this Department is being handicapped by lack of suitable labour.

The number and scope of Class B releases are constantly under con- sideration, but I have nothing to add at present to the reply I gave to the hon. and gallant Member on 22nd November.

Is the Minister aware that the Assistant Postmaster-General is constantly referring to shortage of staff as a reason-for the inefficiency of the Post Office?

Class B Releases

55.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider increasing the percentage of Class B releases, in relation to Class A, from 10per cent. to 20 per cent.

The extent to which releases in Class B may be increased in relation to those in Cl ass A is at present under consideration.

Does not the Minister think that this suggestion, taken with that in Question 57, might provide a part solution for the pressing shortage of skilled men in industry?

Has the Minister's attention been drawn to the fact that Labour Governments in Australia have abolished all forms of conscription?

57.

asked the Minister of Labour why there is still a difference in treatment of men released in Class B and those released in Class A; and whether he will consider according similar treatment to men in both classes, apart from the possible need of some direction of labour, and making releases under Class B compulsory.

It is essential to the release scheme that there should be a clearly marked difference in the treatment of the, men released in Class B and those released in Class A. The former are released before their normal turn to go to definite employment whilst the latter must be given time for resettlement and to secure suitable employment if necessary. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.

Personal Case

58.

asked the Minister of Labour when he intends to release from military service Mr. C. W. Fisher, of Olton, Birmingham, a toolmaker called up in error.

:I expect to be in a position in the course of the next few days to write to the hon. and gallant Member in accordance with the promise that I made to him in my answer to this Question last week.

Would it not have been better to have answered, or even acknowledged, my letter of a week ago, so that it would not have been necessary for me to "ginger" the Minister up?

I am under the impression that I answered the hon. and gallant Member's Question, and if he will please see me, I will see whether there has been a slip-up, and, if so, I will look into it.

Agricultural Workers

72.

asked the Minister of Labour what new instructions have been issued to county W.A.E.C. s in regard to men under the Class B scheme for release.

73.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now able to announce the revised policy for the granting of Class B release for work in agriculture.

74.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now able to state the Government's policy with regard to the release of agricultural workers from the services under Class B.

I should be glad if the hon. Members will repeat their Questions next Tuesday as I shall then be in a better position to reply.