§ MR. CLYNES
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether instructions can be issued to the different Government Departments systematically to reduce long hours of work or abolish overtime where such may now exist; and whether the various Government contractors will also be pressed to adopt this course with a view to increasing opportunities for work for men now unemployed.
§ MR. ASQUITH
It is the practice of the Government Departments to resort to overtime only in the interests of the public service and to meet some pressing emergency. Under existing conditions, the hon. Member may be quite sure that every care will be taken not to resort to it unless in a case of clear necessity. It has not been found practicable to lay down any fixed rule in regard to this matter in Government contracts.