HC Deb 05 March 1953 vol 512 cc544-5
14. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Labour how many ex-officers of 50 years of age and over have been placed in suitable employment during 1952; and how this figure compares with 1949.

Sir W. Monckton

Statistics of placings by age groups are not available. For the 12 months ended 12th January, 1953, 604 Regular officers were placed in employment through the appointments offices, as compared with 849 placed during 1949.

Sir T. Moore

While congratulating my right hon. and learned Friend on his comparative success and admitting the great difficulties in his way, may I ask him if he will bear in mind that there is amongst all of us grave concern at the comparative failure to put these men into jobs suitable for their age and experience?

Sir W. Monckton

My hon. Friend is right. Although the figures are 604 now against 849 in 1949, these figures, if related to the number of people on the register, do in fact show an improvement. At the same time, I am not happy that these officers are not being placed in employment, and I am sure that the whole House appreciates my difficulty about that. It is very difficult to find executive and administrative posts in sufficient numbers, but we will continue to do our best.

Mr. Gough

Would my right hon. and learned Friend consider having consultations with the Secretary of State for War with a view to re-engaging such ex-officers in the War Office, and thereby releasing much younger officers for more active employment?

Sir W. Monckton

I will bring that matter to the attention of my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Manuel

Would the Minister remember that the difficulties which he may have in this connection are not confined to ex-officers, because there are other ranks and also disabled persons who are also in need of suitable employment?

Sir W. Monckton

I entirely agree, and I do bear these matters very particularly in mind.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will my right hon. and learned Friend bear in mind that there is a wrong impression in the country and even in the Treasury that all Regular officers are wealthy men; and, therefore, this particular problem is made much more difficult because the employing public are inclined to believe it, and do not employ these people as they might otherwise do?