HC Deb 27 January 1944 vol 396 cc971-2

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Mr. Rhys Davies

I am sorry I have not been able to hear all the Debate on the Bill and I do not know whether my points have been raised with the right hon. Gentleman before in establishing the National Advisory Council and the district committees. Can he tell us how many persons he intends putting on the National Advisory Council and how many district committees he intends setting up? I have a special reason for putting this point. I spoke a moment ago about the disabled men who would be rehabilitated and would enter business on their own account. I am sure that the industry that will receive the largest number of these people will be the distributive trades. I am not asking for more representation of those trades, but I wonder whether the Minister, when thinking of his advisory council and district committees, will see that they are made aware of the fact that in the main the distributive trades will probably be the industry that will be asked to accept the largest number of these rehabilitated persons.

Mr. Bevin

I am afraid that I cannot give any decision as to the size of the committees. They will vary and will depend on the size of the problem, on the people who will have to be called in to help, and the population that is being dealt with in different parts of the country. The number of committees to be established is a flexible number and I cannot decide it now. I repeat what I said on Second Reading, that I want the committees not to be too small and, at the same time, I do not want them to be too big regionally. I want them to be able to keep in close contact with the problem.

The Chairman

The question of the composition of the committees should be discussed on the Schedule.

Mr. Bevin

My hon. Friend asked me a question, and I am glad I am out of Order.

Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

Clause 17 ordered to stand part of the Bill.