Disabled Workers (Aberdare and Mountain Ash)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20 July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Probert Mr Arthur Probert , Aberdare 12:00, 20 July 1964

asked the Minister of Labour how many registered disabled persons are unemployed in the Ministry of Labour employment exchanges at Aberdare and Mountain Ash.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. William White-law):

On 15th June 1964, there were 118 registered disabled persons registered as unemployed at Aberdare Employment Exchange and 43 at Mountain Ash Employment Exchange.

Photo of Mr Arthur Probert Mr Arthur Probert , Aberdare

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is no Remploy factory in the whole of my constituency, although in the adjacent constituencies to mine there are Remploy factories? Will he convey this fact to his right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs, who, in turn, perhaps could convey the fact to the Glamorgan County Council, which is in the course of setting up sheltered workshops?

Furthermore, is he not aware also of the possible anomaly in the existing legislation whereby firms and other undertakings with 25 or more employees have to employ 3 per cent. disabled persons? Is he aware that under the present legislation firms in returning their register of disabled persons include the whole of the areas in which the firm or undertaking works? Consequently—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."]—in areas of high incidence of disabled persons where there is a plethora of male labour available disabled persons have no possible chance of employment? Therefore—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech."]—is it not time that the legislation was examined?

Photo of Mr William Whitelaw Mr William Whitelaw , Penrith and The Border

The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that Remploy caters only for the severely disabled. I know that my right hon. Friend very much welcomes the initiative of the Glamorgan County Council. As to the hon. Member's suggestion about a quota, a proposal rather similar to this was considered by the Piercy Committee and rejected. I do not think it would be in the best interests of disabled people.