§ 86. Sir HENRY HARRIS
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether a considerable number of disabled men, at present employed in shop E 31 at Woolwich Arsenal, are under notice of dismissal; if so, for what reason; and whether the services of able-bodied men are dispensed with before notice of dismissal is given to disabled men?
§ The DEPUTY-MINISTER of MUNITIONS (Mr. Kellaway)
A number of disabled 1916 ex-service men were under notice owing to the completion of the work on which they were engaged, but I have suspended these notices for one fortnight pending the result of inquiries with the object of finding other employment for the men in question. With regard to the order of discharge I would refer my hon. and learned Friend to the reply given on the 12th of this month to the hon. Member for Clitheroe. The percentage of disabled men in the Ministry of Munitions Inspection Department is over 28 per cent. and every effort is made to employ as high a percentage of disabled men as the nature of the work will permit.
§ 89. Sir HENRY HARRIS
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a considerable number of discharged disabled men who were placed by the Ministry of Labour in training, six months of which were to be spent in a technical college and 18 months in a workshop, have been informed on the completion of their technical school training that they cannot be placed in workshops at present; whether their allowances have been stopped and they have been instructed to register at the local employment exchange: whether he can state why the promised workshop training is not immediately available and when it will be available; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent hardship being inflicted on these men?
The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir R. Home)
I am aware that the training of a certain number of disabled men in technical schools has been terminated in circumstances substantially as described. In practically every case the normal period of technical school training has been considerably extended whilst efforts were made to secure the necessary workshop vacancies, but the hon. Member will realise that to allow such men to remain indefinitely in technical schools after the completion of their technical school period would cause serious injustice to men at present waiting to commence their technical training. The possibility of placing individual cases in improvers' vacancies is obviously conditioned by local circumstances, which it is impossible to state in general terms, but special steps are being taken to accelerate the provision of such training, In the meanwhile the men in question will receive the appropriate 1917 disability pension and unemployment donation to which they are entitled.