HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 cc437-8
4. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Labour what proposals have been made to extend the Remploy factory at Sunderland.

Mr. Wood

No such extension is proposed at present.

Mr. Willey

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that not only have we a very high incidence of unemployment among the disabled in Sunderland but that recently one of his own officials said that the real problem is that the seriously disabled have no prospect of obtaining employment in open industry? In view of this, does he not think that the Government must accept the obligation of providing employment for these seriously disabled persons who, otherwise, will be thoroughly demoralised?

Mr. Wood

I, of course, am with the hon. Gentleman in wanting to find employment for those people who are not fit for employment in open industry. As the hon. Gentleman knows, there is a Remploy factory and a workshop for the blind, and they employ a number of very severely disabled people. The number of severely disabled without employment is about the same now as it was two or three years ago. Although I should like to see the facilities increased, I am told that at the moment the position of Remploy is not sufficient to give it any hope of increasing the facilities which it is at present offering.