HC Deb 19 July 1944 vol 402 cc195-6W
Sir 1. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, with reference to the rehabilitation of disabled persons, he can now state what steps are being taken to provide for the welfare of the war-blinded in the Colonial Empire.

Colonel Stanley

I am greatly obliged to the hon. and gallant Member for the interests which he has taken and for the help which he has given in this important matter.

The attention of all Colonial Governments has been drawn to the need for making provision for the welfare of Colonial persons who have been blinded by war service of any kind, and for their treatment on modern lines. With the assistance of St. Dunstan's and the National Institute for the Blind, a memorandum has been prepared which gives suggestions for the organisation of an Institute for the Blind, which might well be organised on a regional basis to provide facilities for blinded persons from adjacent Colonies where differences of language and customs do not stand in the way. Such institutes would, of course, be capable of development to serve long-term civilian needs. An estimate has been given of the staff, blind and other, which would be required for such an institution, and St. Dunstan's have offered to assist Colonial Governments in the supply or training of blind staff. Suggestions have also been given for the training and employment of blind persons having special regard to the less industrialised and mechanised economy of Colonial territories.