Juveniles (Change of Employment)

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort – in the House of Commons on 19th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that young persons under 15 years of age are not allowed by some of his local officers to leave their employment for jobs where the wages and conditions are superior and where the new employment is important and is much nearer their homes; and will he look into this matter?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

In some cases it may be right, in both the national interest and the interests of the juvenile himself, not to allow a change of employment in the circumstances described; but my officers have been instructed, before taking decisions in such cases, always to have regard to the juveniles' industrial well-being, as well as to the present national interest. If my hon. Friend has any particular cases in mind, I shall be glad to investigate them.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have sent a specific case to his Department; and would he be good enough to instruct his officers to show a little compassion towards these very young persons?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I do not accept the suggestion that they do not show compassion.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

I will send particulars of a case.

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The position about juveniles is that a large number of people are willing to offer juveniles blind-alley employment at very high wages. I have a double purpose to fulfil, both in the national interest and in the interest of the juveniles themselves.