Employers' Representations.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 22nd January 1942.

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Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give to employers whose domestic servants or other employees have been directed to transfer to civilian war work under the registration scheme the same right of appeal to a board for deferment of the Order as is already provided for employers whose employees are called up under the National Service Acts?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The procedure under the Registration for Employment Order was put into operation after consultation with the British Employers' Confederation and the T.U.C., and is now well established. It is not possible for the procedure under the National Service Acts, which is primarily a matter of calling-up for the Women's Auxiliary Services, to be exactly the same as that under the Registration for Employment Order, which is a matter of industrial transfer, but I am considering the possibility in due course of assimilating more closely the procedure for dealing with representations by employers under the latter Order with the deferment procedure under the National Service Acts.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that the real grievance felt by these employers is that they have no appeal from the individual Ministry or Employment Exchange official, that the practice of the Employment Exchange staffs varies a great deal in different parts of the country and that what they really want is some impartial tribunal by whom their case can be considered?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I want to make this point quite definite. I cannot be a party to introducing tribunals. You cannot run a war on tribunals. Decision has to be taken as to the transference of people to meet the requirements of industry from time to time, which are constantly varying, and if I introduced a whole host of tribunals, it would mean that I would clog the whole war-time effort.

Photo of Miss Eleanor Rathbone Miss Eleanor Rathbone , Combined English Universities

May I withdraw the word "tribunal" and explain that what I meant was the establishment of a board or body composed of volunteers and officials to give impartial consideration to this matter?