The large hall is now part of yet another Shelter, which contains 232 beds and bunks. I inspected this place, but as it differs in no important detail from others, I will not describe it.
The Officer who is in charge of the Labour Bureau informed me that hundreds of men apply there for work every week, of whom a great many are sent into the various Elevators and Shelters. The Army finds it extremely difficult to procure outside employment for these men, for the simple reason that there is very little available. Moreover, now that the Government Labour Bureaux are open, this trouble is not lessened. Of these Bureaux, the Manager said that they are most useful, but fail to find employment for many who apply to them. Indeed, numbers of men come on from them to the Salvation Army.
The hard fact is that there are more idle hands than there is work for them to do, even where honest and capable folk are concerned. Thus, in the majority of instances, the Army is obliged to rely upon its own Institutions and the Hadleigh Land Colony to provide some sort of job for out-of-works. Of course, of such jobs there are not enough to go round, so many poor folk must be sent empty away or supported by charity.
I suggested that it might be worth while to establish a school of chauffeurs, and the Officers present said that they would consider the matter. Unfortunately, however, such an experiment must be costly at the present price of motor-vehicles.
I annex the Labour Bureau Statistics for May, 1910:—
Applicants for temporary employment 479 Sent to temporary employment 183 Applicants for Elevators 864 Sent to Elevators 260 Sent to Shelters 32
Applicants for temporary employment 461 Sent to temporary employment 160 Applicants for Elevators 417 Sent to Elevators 202 Sent to Shelters 20 Sent to permanent situations 35
This is a curious and interesting branch of the work of the Salvation Army. About two thousand times a year it receives letters or personal applications, asking it to find some missing relative or friend of the writer or applicant. In reply, a form is posted or given, which must be filled up with the necessary particulars. Then, if it be a London case, the Officer in charge sends out a skilled man to work up clues. If, on the other hand, it be a country case, the Officer in charge of the Corps nearest to where it has occurred, is instructed to initiate the inquiry. Also, advertisements are inserted in the Army papers, known as ‘The War Cry’ and ‘The Social Gazette,’ both in Great Britain and other countries, if the lost person is supposed to be on the Continent or in some distant part of the world.