HC Deb 15 March 1920 vol 126 cc1799-800

asked the Minister of Transport (1) whether the railway companies are in a different position in any way with regard to demobilisation from other employers who are keeping jobs open for men who are still with the Colours;

(2) in view of the fact that Government Departments are employing disabled men to a number equivalent to 8 per cent. of the aggregate total staffs, permanent and temporary, and Government industrial establishments are employing disabled men up to 5 per cent. of the aggregate total establishments, why the railway companies are only employing disabled men to a far less extent, whilst other trades and industries are being urged by the Minister of Labour to employ disabled men to a number equivalent to 5 per cent. total number of employés of both sexes; whether, having regard to the fact that the guarantee to the railway companies is a liability of the public funds, he will bring pressure to bear on all railway companies to join the national scheme by employing disabled men up to at least 5 per cent. of their total numbers as other employers are doing: and whether he can state the estimated number per cent. employed by the railway companies?


Subject to the consideration that disabled men are not fitted for employment in many branches of the railway service, I am not aware that railway companies are in a different position from other employers who have undertaken to keep jobs open for men still with the Colours. My hon. and learned Friend will realise that the work in Government Departments and establishments lends itself more readily to the employment of disabled men than does the railway service generally; further, that unfortunately railway employment itself produces an abnormal percentage of disablement cases, compared with other employment, for whom positions have to be found, but I understand that early in this year the number of disabled ex-service men employed on one of the principal railways, which may be regarded as a typical instance, was over 4 per cent. of the total establishment, and I am assured that the companies generally are doing all that they can in the matter of employment of disabled men.


Is there any necessity for retaining women as ticket collectors at exits?


The matter shall receive consideration.