HC Deb 06 April 1937 vol 322 cc14-5
26. Mr. Banfield

asked the Minister of Labour the number of Walsall firms who are on the King's Roll; whether he is aware of any not conforming to the 5 per cent, quota of ex-service men condition; and whether, in view of the Government's policy of recruitment, he will insist upon the maintenance of the 5 per cent. quota in respect of any contracts undertaken by such firms on behalf of the Government?

Mr. E. Brown

On 2nd April, 1937, 142 Walsall firms were members of the King's National Roll; 104 of these were enrolled on the normal basis of the employment of disabled ex-service men to the extent of 5 per cent. or more of total staff, 22 on other bases normally applicable to their trades, and 16 on reduced bases. I should explain that the local King's Roll committees have discretion to admit firms to membership of the Roll at less than the normal percentage in suitable cases. Government contracts are confined, save in exceptional circumstances, to firms which belong to the King's National Roll; and this limitation is strictly enforced.

Mr. Banfield

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the branches of the British Legion in the district are very much concerned about this matter? Will he make inquiries with a view to relieving anxiety?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Member will communicate with me as to any new point. I shall be glad to go into it.

Mr. Leckie

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that manufacturers have the greatest difficulty in finding disabled ex-Service men sufficiently skilled to fill vacancies?

Mr. Brown

That is one of the reasons for discretion in certain cases.