Mr. ALFRED T. DAVIES
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in the discharges that may be necessary in firms whose names are on the King's Roll of Honour due regard is being given to the pledge to employ a certain percentage of ex-service men; whether he has any information from which he can say if that pledge is being adhered to; and, if so, will he assure the ex-service men that these firms are observing their pledge?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I have been asked to reply. As my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, the pledge given by employers on the King's Roll relates to the employment of disabled men, and I have every reason to believe that these employers are, so far as possible, retaining their disabled men when reducing staff. The 291W number of disabled ex-service men registered as unemployed has increased in a much smaller proportion since last September than the number of other applicants, although the register has been in creased during that period by a considerable number of disabled men who were discharged from hospital. Any employer who ceased to employ the agreed percentage of disabled men would, of course, be no longer qualified to remain on the King's Roll. I am looking into this question specially in connection with the renewal of undertakings under the National Scheme. Perhaps I may be permitted to add that His Majesty's Government has decided that, save in very exceptional circumstances, all firms contracting for Government contracts to whom the conditions for membership of the King's Roll are applicable must be on the King's Roll. This rule will come into operation on the 1st June, 1921.