asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that the packaging facilities at the Remploy factory, Coventry, include damp and dust proof rooms to meet Ministry specifications, but that at the moment these are not being used; and, as it is in the interests of both Government and taxpayer that Remploy should be kept as near self-supporting as possible, if he will consider what orders can be given to use the facilities available.
My right hon. Friend is aware of the facilities at the Remploy factory at Coventry. Suitable work is placed with that factory by the Ministry of Supply whenever practicable, but the volume of such work available has fallen considerably during the last few years.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that that does not get us anywhere? Are there no Government packaging contracts that can be sent there? Does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that it is the height of financial stupidity to have these facilities in the factory at Coventry and not send work there so that they can be used? What is he going to do about it, as well as being aware of the position?
I have already said that the volume of orders is falling constantly, but, in addition to the special facilities employed at Remploy factories, these facilities have been repeated in private industry. I assure the hon. Lady that wherever possible preference is given to Remploy.
Will the hon. Gentleman answer this question? Is he aware that the average number of employees in Coventry for the past five years has been 71, that we have at the moment 59 there, and that there are eight men waiting to go in? What is he going to do about giving the factory work so that these eight men can be taken in?