§ 8. Sir Robert Young
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will explain why ex-service men who are for a very long period out of employment and drawing monetary help under means test rules are not allowed to offer their services for full-time duty in the Police War Reserve, or with the Royal Marine Special Reserve, because their trade is a reserved occupation; and whether, in these circumstances, he will guarantee such men a job at full trade union rates in the near future and compensate them for present loss of pay owing to their present prohibition on their finding employment in the aforesaid organisations?
§ Mr. E. Brown
The object of the Schedule of Reserved Occupations is to reserve for the needs of industry such workpeople as are considered essential to enable the national war effort to be fully developed. Steps are being taken, however, to enable the restriction imposed by the schedule to be removed in cases when owing to long unemployment or some other reason a person at present treated as belonging to a scheduled occupation cannot properly be regarded as capable of following that occupation. It. would not be consistent with the object of the schedule to go further than this. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative.
§ Sir R. Young
Is it not rather a hardship on unemployed people that they should not be allowed to take work when 2065 it is offered to them, and is it not also a very great difficulty for them when they are kept on the means test and they want to get off it?
§ Mr. Brown
If the hon. Member has a particular class of occupation in mind, I shall be glad if he or any other hon. Member will give me the advantage of their knowledge, because it will help me in any revisions that I may make. As the hon. Member knows, this is done administratively and flexibly, and inside the general framework I shall be glad to do what I can.
Will this revision apply to miners suffering from nystagmus who are not able to follow their employment?