HC Deb 07 November 1950 vol 480 cc762-4
36. Sir Harold Roper

asked The Minister of Labour what success the Special Appointments Branch has had in finding employment for men of over 50 years of age, particularly disabled men, who, in the past, have held responsible positions.

Mr. Isaacs

During the last 12 months the Appointments Offices have placed 6,987 men in employment, including 503 disabled men. Statistics of placings by age groups are not available, but the Appointments Offices take special pains to assist men over 50. I should like to renew the appeals I have frequently made to employers to consider these older men on their merits, when they apply or are put forward for posts of managerial, senior executive or professional type.

Sir H. Roper

Will the right hon. Gentleman continue to bear in mind the frustration that is felt by many actively minded men and women, who are past the prime of life, through their inability to obtain employment?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes. There is foundation for what the hon. Gentleman says. Here are men of very high capacity, anxious indeed to do a good job, whose only fault is that they were born before a certain date. I am perfectly confident, from experience in other cases, that if employers will give these men a chance they will find them excellent servants.

Mr. Malcolm MacPherson

Has my right hon. Friend found that industries suffering from a shortage of labour are more willing to take these men than industries already fully manned?

Mr. Isaacs

I do not think we could say that. The fact is that in many cases it is a firm's pension scheme that makes it hesitate before taking on these men.

Sir H. Williams

As the Government are the worst offenders in getting rid of people over a certain age, will the right hon. Gentleman send his answers to the Treasury?

Mr. Isaacs

The hon. Gentleman is as right in that assumption as in most others. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Let me apologise to the House for putting my foot in it again. The hon. Gentleman is wrong. The Government are not bad offenders. I can assure the House that the Government give every possible facility in their own services, and in those in which they have influence, to encourage the use of these older men.