HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 cc399-400
49. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will consider raising the age at which service in dockyards is at present terminated in normal cases to 65 years, so that the men concerned may not have five years to wait after the end of their service before they qualify for old age pensions?

Mr. Shakespeare

Although the normal age for retirement of Dockyard workmen is laid down as 60, the regulations pro vide that workmen may be retained up to 65 years of age in cases in which they can be recommended as deserving of retention and are found by medical examination to be physically fit to per form the duties required of them. I am unable to agree to the general raising of the retiring age to 65.

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the concern that has been expressed by the Minister of Labour with regard to this problem of older men being thrown out of employment, and of the fact that many of these men are quite capable of carrying on, will not the hon. Gentleman reconsider the whole question? Does he not understand the tragedy of these men being thrown out at 60 when they have to wait till they axe 65 before they get any pension?

Mr. Shakespeare

The regulations provide that men may be allowed to carry on if they are fit to do so, but it is a good thing, I think, to fix an age to review a man's physical capabilities.

Mr. T. Smith

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion are retained after reaching the age of 60?

Mr. Shakespeare

Not without notice.