HC Deb 01 May 1972 vol 836 cc11-2
14. Mr. Alec Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Wales when he last visited a Remploy factory in Wales.

Mr. Peter Thomas

In October, 1970, when I had the pleasure of opening the Treforest factory.

Mr. Jones

Would not the Secretary of State consider visiting these factories again? Is he aware that the Remploy workers in Wales are feeling extremely disgruntled at present, that they feel that they are being treated as second-class citizens and are extremely dissatisfied with the miserable wage offer recently made to them, and that their conditions of service are such as to take away any form of confidence they have? Will the right hon. and learned Gentleman make a special effort to visit Remploy factories in Wales to talk to the workers, and will he consult his Cabinet colleagues to ensure that our disabled workers get a fair deal?

Mr. Thomas

Everyone is anxious to see that our disabled workers have a fair deal. I assure the hon. Gentleman that my interest in Remploy has existed for a considerable time, ever since I was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour. I am aware, also, of a dispute involving some Remploy workers in South Wales. but it would not be useful for me to comment on that.

Mr. Roderick

Would the Secretary of State consider changing the policy for Remploy, which requires that they should be profitable organisations, because many disabled people are unable to be accommodated there as managers are afraid that production would be slowed down?

Mr. Thomas

The question of any change in policy for Remploy is not for me but for the Department of Employment.