HC Deb 12 May 1953 vol 515 cc1057-8
55. Mr. J. T. Hall

asked the Minister of Labour the number of registered disabled unemployed in the county borough of Gateshead; the number employed at the Remploy factory at the latest convenient date; and the corresponding figures of a year ago.

The Minister of Labour (Sir Walter Monckton)

The number of registered disabled persons in Gateshead who were unemployed at 16th March, 1953, was 273 compared with a total of 307 at 17th March, 1952. The numbers employed at the Remploy factory at these dates were 45 and 49 respectively.

Mr. Hall

Is the Minister satisfied that he has taken all the steps he can take to find work for these men, and can I have an assurance that he is not trying to cut down the service of the Remploy factories.

Sir W. Monckton

So far as this Gates-head Remploy factory is concerned, the difficulty has been that it does orthopaedic work, and there has been a shortage of that work. We are negotiating for additional contracts, and if we get them, as I hope we shall, we shall be able to find more work for these men.

Mr. Slater

May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman what steps he is taking to extend the service so that these people who cannot be absorbed at present may be absorbed in other directions in some form of employment?

Sir W. Monckton

These men about whom this Question was asked are disabled men who require sheltered employment, and they are the men for whom Remploy exists. I was saying that, in this particular area, I have hopes of more men being taken on.