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asked the Minister of Labour how many of the persons at present unemployed in Newcastle-under-Lyme are suffering from tuberculosis; for what periods they have been unemployed; and what special measures are being taken to provide opportunities of work for such persons.
The number of persons suffering from tuberculosis who are registered as unemployed at the Newcastle-under-Lyme Employment Exchange is 10, of whom four have been out of work for six months or less and the rest for longer periods. During the past year officers of my Department and chest physicians have made special approaches to employers in the Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme areas, and nearly 200 tuberculous people either returned to their previous employers or were resettled in other jobs. There are three Remploy factories providing sheltered employment in North Staffordshire.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that, while this is obviously a small number, the local representatives on the employment committee are very concerned about these cases and also about the fact that in the neighbouring Borough of Stoke-on-Trent there is quite a large number of cases, especially when those suffering from chest diseases are taken into account? Will he, therefore, give sympathetic attention to the possibilities of further opportunities of employment for these people?
I am aware of the concern, and also of some of the difficulties because of the lack of diversity of industry for them in the area. I hope, however, that the number I mentioned as having gone into work in this last year is a sign of our activities having some results.