HC Deb 20 June 1950 vol 476 cc1040-1
12 and 13. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Minister of Labour (1) when he will be able to publish his arrangements for the provision of employment facilities for tuberculous disabled persons;

(2) whether he is aware that, without avail, repeated requests have been made to his Department for a clear expression of the respective responsibilities of the central and local authorities with regard to persons suffering from tuberculosis; and if he will now make a statement on this matter.

Mr. Lee

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the provision in the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act which enables my right hon. Friend to make payments to a local authority having powers under any other enactment to provide facilities for the employment of severely disabled persons, including the tuberculous. Certain questions relating to the powers under which local authorities can provide such facilities are being considered inter-departmentally and a statement will be made in due course.

As regards the provision of employment facilities generally, disabled tuberculous persons who are available or work are submitted to any employment which is regarded, on medical advice, as within their capacity and in other respects suitable for them. In addition, Remploy, Limited, have at present five special factories which employ them in sheltered conditions.

Mr. Pargiter

Is my hon. Friend aware that this inter-departmental inquiry has been going on for so long that the local authorities are very much of the opinion that the delay is due to the desire of the central authority not to meet their just liabilities and responsibilities in this matter and to leave them with the local authorities?

Mr. Lee

I assure my hon. Friend that that is not the case.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Will not the Minister arrange for the appropriate trade unions to issue cards to these disabled people so that they can be taken into work alongside trade union members?

Mr. Lee

Generally speaking, the trade unions do that.