Disabled Persons

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd March 1948.

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Photo of Mr Peter Freeman Mr Peter Freeman , Newport (Monmouthshire/Gwent) 12:00 am, 2nd March 1948

asked the Minister of Labour the numbers of insured workers employed by firms having quota obligations, under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, in Newport; the numbers of registered disabled persons; the numbers of such persons unemployed in the Newport district; and the quota which would need to be observed to reduce unemployment amongst the disabled, to that obtaining for all insured workers in the Newport district.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

The information requested in the first part of the Question is not available. The number of persons registered as disabled in the Newport district is 3,357, of whom 488 were unemployed on 19th January last. It is not possible to make the calculation asked for in the last part of the Question.

Photo of Mr Peter Freeman Mr Peter Freeman , Newport (Monmouthshire/Gwent)

Are the firms concerned observing this regulation regarding disabled ex-Service men as far as possible?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

Yes, Sir. We are satisfied that they are observing it as far as possible. There may be instances where we are checking up and where we are not quite satisfied; but in fact many firms have employed more than the three per cent.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff Central

asked the Minister of Labour the numbers of insured workers employed by firms having quota obligations, under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, in Cardiff; the numbers of registered disabled persons; the number of such persons unemployed in the Cardiff district; and the quota which would need to be observed to reduce unemployment amongst the disabled to that obtaining for all insured workers in the Cardiff district.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

The information requested in the first part of the Question is not available. The number of persons registered as disabled in the Cardiff district is 5,399, of whom 527 were unemployed on 19th January last. It is not possible to make the calculation asked for in the last part of the Question.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff Central

In view of the high proportion of disabled men who are unemployed, will the right hon. Gentleman make representations in the Cardiff area that employers should take a larger proportion than the quota which, in- the opinion of many people, is much too low?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

The quota presents a difficult problem, because an employer is not compelled to discharge an able-bodied man in order to employ a disabled man. Many employers are doing very well indeed. I went down to South Wales at the weekend to consider this problem, and I must admit that, in spite of considerable difficulties, I am not satisfied with the progress. However, we will do the best we can.

Photo of Mr Thomas Scollan Mr Thomas Scollan , Renfrewshire Western

Has the Minister considered selecting certain trades and occupations which would be specially suitable for these people, and trying to get a few more than the quota introduced into those trades?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

Yes, Sir. There is power under the Act to designate certain classes of employment, but we have found that some of the men do not like being placed in designated employment. We hive found that it is much more satisfactory to train them for more general employment.

Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Heywood and Radcliffe

asked the Minister of Labour how many disabled persons were on the disabled persons' register on the latest available date in Heywood, Radcliffe, Whitefield and Ramsbottom, respectively, and how many in each area were unemployed on that date.

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

The numbers of registered disabled persons on 19th January, 1948, at Heywood, Radcliffe and Ramsbottom were 653, 609 and 243, of whom 23, 24 and 3 respectively were unemployed. Separate figures for Whitefield are not available.

Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Heywood and Radcliffe

While thanking my right hon. Friend, especially for the attention he has given to individual cases which I have brought to his notice, may I ask whether he is satisfied that employers generally are carrying out their obligations?

Photo of Mr George Isaacs Mr George Isaacs , Southwark North

Yes, Sir. I am satisfied that employers generally are carrying out their obligations. The problem is due to the difficulty of obtaining sites and starting the building work. As I have already indicated, I am not satisfied with the progress made, and we are pursuing the matter most vigorously.