Govan (Questions as to Religion).

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons at on 30 April 1929.

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Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

49.

asked the Minister of Labour whether any instructions have been given to the officials at the Govan Employment Exchange to question unemployed men and women who are signing there regarding their religion before offering them any vacancies on their list; and, if not, whether he will make inquiry whether such questions are being asked and upon whose instructions?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

At the Govan Employment Exchange it is the practice

January, 1928, until the last month for which figures are available in 1929; all industries, shipbuilding and ship repairing, iron and steel, coal mining, and canal dock and harbour service?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

As the reply involves a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate a statement with the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Martin Connolly Mr Martin Connolly , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Will that statement give the percentages?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

Yes, the total is given, and also the percentages in each case.

Following is the statement:

to ask women registering for domestic service whether they are willing to indicate their religious persuasion, as employers frequently stipulate that only persons of a particular religious persuasion will be engaged. It is not compulsory upon them to answer this question, but if they do so it is easier for the Exchange to offer them suitable posts, or to avoid offering situations for which they are not eligible.

Photo of Mr Neil Maclean Mr Neil Maclean , Glasgow Govan

My information regarding this matter contradicts that of the Parliamentary Secretary and, in order that the religious views of these people may not be offended, can I have an interview with the hon. Gentleman and go into the matter and submit my information, so that anything of the kind might be altered at the Exchange?

Photo of Sir Henry Betterton Sir Henry Betterton , Rushcliffe

I shall be very pleased to see the hon. Gentleman. Nothing is further from our thoughts than to pursue any course which is repugnant to local feeling in the matter. This course was adopted, as we thought, for local convenience, and, if it is not for local convenience, I shall be glad to consider any representations from the hon. Member.