HC Deb 09 December 1948 vol 459 cc558-9
48. Mr. Attewell

asked the Minister of Labour the number of persons in Leicester and Leicestershire registered under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944; the total unemployed; the number unemployed for 12 months and over; and the number severely disabled and in need of sheltered employment, respectively.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

On 18th October, 1948, the numbers were 5,769 and 9,400, respectively. At Leicester there were 82 registered disabled persons unemployed, of whom eight were in need of sheltered employment; the corresponding figures for Leicestershire were 174 and 30. The number of registered disabled persons who had been unemployed for 12 months or more were 15 at Leicester and 52 for Leicestershire.

49. Mr. Anthony Greenwood

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make arrangements to provide the Disabled Persons Employment Corporation with work on Government contracts to a sufficient extent to keep their severely disabled employees fully occupied.

Mr. Isaacs

These factories do not rely entirely on production for the Government, though this must provide some part of their work. I am glad to say that arrangements to make full use of the expanding capacity of the Corporation are in hand. Contracting Departments have agreed to allocate to the Corporation, at current prices, a share of their orders for production which the Corporation is in a position to undertake, which should ensure an adequate and steady flow of work. The application of this principle to voluntary undertakings approved by my Department is under consideration.

Mr. Greenwood

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his very satisfactory answer, may I ask him whether, if he finds it impossible to pursue his policy so far as Government Departments are concerned, he will consider invoking the aid of local authorites?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir. I should like to announce to the House that I see no difficulty so far as Government Departments are concerned. They are very anxious to co-operate on a proper arrangement. We do propose, as the number of these factories grows in different parts of the country, to seek the co-operation of local authorities.

50. Mr. Skeffington

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that there are nearly 9,000 disabled persons out of work in the Metropolitan area, greater efforts will be made to find suitable training for them in his Department's training centres.

Mr. Isaacs

It is in only the minority of cases that vocational training is needed. My purpose is to make provision for the training of all the disabled unemployed for whom a course of training is the best means of resettlement.

Mr. Skeffington

Can the Minister say how many of these 9,000 disabled persons have been trained?

Mr. Isaacs

I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is referring to the previous answer. I did not refer to 9,000 disabled persons in my present answer.