HC Deb 20 July 1964 vol 699 cc8-9
7. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Minister of Labour if he will set up a departmental inquiry to study the difficulties of men over the age of 50 years, who find themselves unable to get worthwhile employment after being made redundant in business, professional or industrial life.

Mr. Godber

The difficulties experienced by older redundant workers are already well known. I am considering whether, in the light of the improved employment situation, there is anything further my Department can do to promote the employment of older workers.

Mr. Smith

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, even in the affluent society, this very human problem is far more prevalent than is probably realised? Now that we have labour shortages because of full employment in many areas, does not he think it an admirable opportunity for many firms to take old people? Will he do everything possible to encourage them to do so?

Mr. Godber

Yes. I welcome my hon. Friend's; suggestion, and I hope that this Question and Answer will get adequate publicity. I think there is more firms can do to make use of some older workers. My local offices always try to persuade manufacturers to abandon any maximum age limit they have chosen to impose, and I am sure that this is the right course to follow.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Has my right hon. Friend kept in touch with the War Department and other Service Departments, which have done a fine job in placing ex-Service men over the age of 50?

Mr. Godber

Yes. I kept in very close touch with the War Department at one time during my career. I assure my hon. Friend that we appreciate the very good work done by the Service Departments and will profit by it in every way we can.