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Volume 462: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1949

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Agricultural Workers (Direction)


asked the Minister of Labour what avenue of appeal exists for agricultural workers when a county agricultural committee refuses to release them for work in another industry.

The decision in these cases rests with my local officers and not with the county agricultural executive committee. If the worker does not accept the decision the issue of a direction under Defence Regulation 58A is considered. If a direction is issued the worker has an opportunity of appeal to the local appeal board.

Is it not about time we did away with this farce of tying a man to an industry in which he does not want

Unemployed Registered Disabled Persons
Registered Disabled PersonsCapable of ordinary employmentRequiring sheltered employmentTotal
Wales and Monmouthshire63,7272,60566,33211,9663541,7242313,69037714,067

Ship-Repairing (Casual Labour)


asked the Minister of Labour if he has considered the danger of casual labour arising in the ship-repairing yards of this country when the repair facilities on the Continent are fully restored; and what steps he is taking to abolish casual labour in this industry by a system of decasualisation.

The question of the level of employment in ship-repairing is under constant review and steps will be taken to deal with any situation which may arise.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that low wages and bad working conditions on the Continent as compared with this country will have a tendency

to work and let men have a free choice of work?

Disabled Persons, Wales


asked the Minister of Labour the number of persons, male and females separately on the disabled persons' register; and the number of such persons registered as unemployed at the latest available date, at each of the Blaina, Abertillery, and Newbridge employment exchanges; and the total figures for Wales and Monmouthshire for the same categories.

As the reply contains a number of figures, I will with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply;

to pull our wages down and to reintroduce the principle of casual labour which existed before the war and which is undesirable in this country?

I am not sure that a system of decasualisation can be properly worked in this industry, but we have the advice of the shipbuilding advisory committee, which represents the industry from all aspects and is keeping a watch on the situation.

National Service Call-Up (Students)


asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that there is still long delay between registration and call-up for many boys who are still at school and as they find it difficult to obtain employment after registration will he take steps to remedy the call-up when this is desirable in the boys' interests.

As I announced in reply to two Questions on 18th January, where young men at school wish to be called-up early in order to fit in their period of service with the beginning of courses at the universities in the autumn of any year, their request will be granted. I am looking into the two cases which the hon. Member has sent me where there appears to have been delay and will write to him shortly.

Has the information to which the right hon. Gentleman referred been made available not only to State schools, but also to public schools?

I cannot say definitely whether the information has recently been sent out but I will make inquiries of my hon. Friend the Minister of Education and see that it is done as soon as possible.

What is the average time between notice of call-up and the presentation of the man for service?

I announced that period some time back. Speaking from memory, at least a month elapses between the complete registration and the call-up.