HC Deb 20 December 1956 vol 562 cc1436-7
14. Mr. Hyde

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the increasing difficulties which are being experienced by ex-prisoners in obtaining employment, particularly in the London area, what steps he is taking, in consultation with the Central After-Care Association and the National Association of Discharged Prisoners' Aid Societies, to ensure that all possible action is taken to assist ex-prisoners to be suitably employed as soon as possible after their release from prison.

Major Lloyd-George

Certain types of prisoner tend to be difficult to place in employment but my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour is not aware of any recent general difficulty. If my hon. Friend will let me have details of any cases he has in mind I will look into them.

Mr. Hyde

Would not my right hon. and gallant Friend agree that ex-prisoners who are unable to find suitable employment may be forced back into crime, thus constituting a liability on the taxpayer? Would he not think it would be useful, in consultation with the Minister of Labour, to detail special officials in the employment exchanges to help these men to find suitable work?

Major Lloyd-George

As my hon. Friend probably knows, employment exchanges work in very close contact with discharged prisoners' aid societies and after-care associations. The primary responsibility for finding employment for discharged prisoners rests with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour. I would remind my hon. Friend that this task is not always easy. There are some types of prisoners who may be unskilled, or physically unfit, and others who are professional men may have abused a position of trust. We must also never forget the work-shy psychopath, who on the whole is the loudest in his complaints.