Government Departments (Employes).

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 4th November 1920.

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Photo of Mr Marshall Stevens Mr Marshall Stevens , Eccles

46.

asked the Prime Minister if he will issue an instruction to all Government Departments, other than the Ministry of Transport, to forthwith release from Government employ all employés now in Government service who since 1st August, 1914, have been lent or otherwise obtained from railway companies and other public bodies; and, if he cannot see his way to forthwith issue such an instruction, will he obtain and issue a list of such officials in Government employ on 1st October, 1920, giving their pre-War occupations, the reasons they have not or cannot now be returned to such occupations, and why the work they are now doing, if still requisite, cannot be undertaken by men who fought in the War and are now without employment?

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

No, Sir; I do not think that I should be justified in issuing general instructions of this character without enquiry into the circumstances of each office. As regards the last part of the question, I do not consider that the time and cost involved in the compilation and issue of such a list as is suggested by my hon. Friend would be justified.

Photo of Mr Marshall Stevens Mr Marshall Stevens , Eccles

May I ask the Prime Minister how he can expect traders to help in giving employment to returned service men when the various Government Departments will not make inquiries into the subject in question?

Photo of Mr Austen Chamberlain Mr Austen Chamberlain , Birmingham West

My hon. Friend cannot have heard my answer. His supplementary question has no relevance to the original question he put or to the answer which I gave him.