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Transport Division (Reorganisation)

Volume 466: debated on Monday 4 July 1949

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asked the Minister of Works why the reorganisation of the transport division of his Department has been carried out without honouring the redundancy agreement; and what provision he proposes to make for the men who have been turned off in spite of the 1914–18 pledge.

As I have already explained to the hon. Member a major reorganisation of the transport division, involving posts with revised salary scales, became necessary and it was not possible to deal with the reorganisation on the basis of normal redundancy in a particular grade. After advising the staff association concerned, notices of discharge were issued to all existing staff. The claims of all these officers to appointments to the new posts were considered by a selection board specially convened for the purpose and new appointments were offered to the best qualified of them. I regret that I cannot undertake to make any special provisions for those discharged following this reorganisation.

Does any reorganisation of this division justify the Government in breaking the pledge they gave to the men of the 1914–18 war?

No pledge to the men was broken by this reorganisation. That pledge dealt with the normal redundancy in any one grade. This matter concerns the whole reorganisation of the transport division.

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell me whether, as the result of that reorganisation, any men who came into his Department after the 1914–18 war have been given the sack and have not been offered new jobs?