HC Deb 29 February 1940 vol 357 cc2228-9
22. Sir Smedley Crooke

asked the Minister of Labour whether the Resolution passed by both Houses of Parliament on 16th February, 1926, concerning the provision of employment for disabled ex-service men by the restriction of awards of Government contracts, save in exceptional circumstances, to employers enrolled on the King's National Roll, is being fully observed at the present time; and whether cases of exceptional circumstances are being rigidly examined, in view of the fact that a considerable number of disabled ex-servicemen are still unemployed?

Mr. E. Brown

The provisions of the Resolution to which the hon. Member refers are, according to my information, being fully observed. Where it has been found necessary in the national interest, on grounds of urgency, to take advantage of the "exceptional circumstances" clause, all such contracts of the value of £500 and upwards have been notified to my Department and steps taken with a view to securing the enrolment of the firms concerned, on the King's National Roll.

23. Sir Smedley Crooke

asked the Minister of Labour the nature of the preference in employment to disabled ex-servicemen given by Government Departments and that shown by Employment Exchanges in the award of jobs to such men; and what steps are taken to ensure that the preference is regularly observed in the light of the Government's intentions?

Mr. Brown

A comprehensive undertaking has been given by His Majesty's Government to employ a quota of disabled ex-service men in Government Departments in accordance with the King's Roll Scheme. Disabled men also participate in the general preference accorded to ex-service men in regard to vacancies in Government Departments and whenever they are suitable, disabled men are submitted for such vacancies. The instructions issued to the Department's placing officers provide for the observance of these preferences in submitting applicants for employment. My hon. Friend will be aware that my Department works very closely in touch with the King's Roll National Council and the King's Roll Committees throughout the country, which give such valuable assistance to the employment of disabled ex-service men.

Sir P. Harmon

Is there any officer of the right hon. Gentleman's Department who is giving special attention to the cases of disabled men and the possibility of giving them employment?

Mr. Brown

There has always been a special sub-section which is doing that work, and the matter has had the continuous attention of all Governments ever since the scheme was started.

Sir Joseph Nail

Is the Department rooting out men over 40 and thereby reducing the number of these men who could be employed?

Mr. Brown

I should like to have that Question put down, so that I could give a considered reply, because the matter is one which does not always wholly concern my Department.