HC Deb 04 June 1957 vol 571 c1064
27. Mr. Collins

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will issue to Remploy and other organisations for handicapped workers, and to Her Majesty's Prison Commissioners, summarised lists of the inventories, other than armaments, of the Service Ministries and Ministry of Works, so that they may have an opportunity to enlarge the range of goods which they supply to Government Departments.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

The Piercy Committee on the Rehabilitation, Training and Resettlement of Disabled Persons, in its Report published last November, urged that the volume of orders to such suppliers as Remploy Ltd. should be increased. This matter is now under consideration among the Departments concerned, and I can assure the hon. Member that the Government are sympathetic and will do what is possible to enlarge both the range and the quantities of goods supplied from these sources.

Mr. Collins

Whilst thanking the Chancellor for that helpful Answer, may I ask whether he is aware that this problem is only that of providing work for the equivalent of 6,000 able-bodied men? The Service Departments each have inventories of more than 700,000 items. If they did what the Question asks, work could easily be provided with the cooperation of both sides of industry.

Mr. Thorneycroft

That is what is being considered. I am sympathetic, and desire that we should do all that we can in this field.