HC Deb 17 February 1920 vol 125 cc747-8W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that 1,600 discharged soldiers and sailors in the northern region, comprising Cumberland, Durham, and Northumberland, are still awaiting industrial training; whether the local war pensions committee have now no responsibility with regard to industrial training; whether he is aware that the administrative efficiency of these committees is being hampered by this delay; and whether he will explain the cause of the delay and the steps being taken to deal with the matter?


The number given in the first part of the question, of disabled soldiers and sailors awaiting training in the area referred to, is approximately correct. Local war pensions committees are not now responsible for industrial training, and the question of their efficiency in discharging the duties for which they are responsible is a matter for the Ministry of Pensions. Delay in providing industrial training in that area has been mainly due to inevitable expenditure of time in acquiring and equipping the large training centres at Birtley and Walker. I am glad to say that these have now been overcome to a large extent, and there should be very soon a substantial and steady increase in the number of men training in the division.