26. Lieut.-Commander Clark Hutchison
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that a number of retired officers of the three Services, with high technical qualifications, are finding it very difficult to obtain employment on account of their age; and if he will endeavour to utilise the services of these officers in the rearmament programme.
The number of such officers registered with my Department is less than 50, and about half of these are at present under consideration for suitable posts. I hope employers will make the greatest possible use of the services of these officers.
As there may be a number of officers who do not know where to apply, can the Parliamentary Secretary say to which branch or Department they should make application?
There is an Appointments Department Advisory Council on which each of the three Services is represented. The Council does its best to look after these ex-officers.
Half of these people are already over 55 years of age. We have no maximum. They are represented on the departmental committee and we are trying, along with the Service representatives, to secure employment irrespective of age.
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
In view of the appeal made by the Minister of Labour the other day to employers to do their best for these men of a certain age, will the Minister have another shot at it to see whether more can be done? The stories and letters on the subject that we receive are very terrible. Little employment seems to be achieved by these officers.
We are most concerned about the incidence of unemployment among older people, and we are taking the advice of both sides of industry. We will do everything in our power to help these men.
§ Mr. R. S. Hudson
Yes, but cannot something be done in the Government's services? The Government appeal to private employers but do not take similar action themselves.
If the right hon. Gentleman will look at the figures which I gave in a recent Adjournment Debate, he will find that the Government have a very good record indeed.