asked the Minister of Labour whether any persons engaged on the work of the Trade Board Section are under notice, and, if so, whether he will state the number of such persons and the reasons which have led him to this action in view of the inadequacy of the existing staff and of the fact that the whole question of Trade Boards is still under review by the Committee of Inquiry set up under the chairmanship of Viscount Cave?
Of a total temporary staff numbering 34, engaged upon inspection, investigation, and administrative duties connected with Trade Boards, 15 are under notice to leave on 31st March. The net reduction of the staff of Trade Boards, however, will be 12, owing to the transfer of three officers from another branch of the Ministry. The whole staff position of the Trade Board Division will be reviewed upon receipt of the Report of the Cave Committee.
Is it not rather an expense to get rid of these trained inspectors until you know what will be the outcome of the Cave Committee's deliberations? It is very expensive training.
Suppose the Cave Committee decides that the Trade Boards are good and wants to apply them to other people, there will then be plenty of work for them, and is it not expensive to get rid of these trained inspectors until you know the result?
I should like to agree with my Noble Friend, but it is quite improper for me, or for anybody else, if I may say so with respect, to anticipate the decision of the Cave Committee.