asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce whether he can state if all men employed on Government works are employed exclusively through the Labour Exchanges, and, if not, through what other agency or agencies are these men also employed; whether definite instructions as to qualifications, etc., are issued to Labour Exchanges governing the employment of these men on such works, and whether these instructions are always enforced; whether married men with large families, holding the necessary qualifications, are a first consideration; whether he will investigate the complaints of James Stack, 14 Harbour View, Cobh, a married man with a large family, holding the necessary qualifications, and without employment or unemployment insurance benefit since June, 1925, and some others in Cobh similarly circumstanced, who, although registered in the local Labour Exchange, were unable to obtain employment on the work of laying the telephone cables for the Department of Posts and Telegraphs in Cobh district recently.
WRITTEN ANSWERS. - EMPLOYMENT ON GOVERNMENT WORKS.
I am not aware of any rule that men employed on Government works must be recruited through the Labour Exchanges exclusively, though my Department endeavours to secure such work when available for men on the Exchange registers, and I have no information when men are obtained otherwise than through my Department as to what agencies are used. The Exchanges have instructions, when an order for men on Government work is received, to give first preference to ex-Army men; subject to that, unless special qualifications are required, married men would have a preference, but the selection rests with the Department engaging the men.
The second part of the question relating to the complaints of Mr. Stack and others, should be addressed to the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.