asked the Minister of Labour if more than 30,000 disabled ex-Service men are registered as unemployed; and if he will consider the advisability of issuing such a comprehensive statement in regard to the difficulties of his department in the matter as will give hon. Members of the House sufficient information upon which to base their consideration of the best means of grappling with the problem?
Sir R. HORNE
The number of disabled ex-Service men on the registers or the Employment Exchanges at 6th February was 30,653. I am hopeful that, consequent upon the settlement of the moulders' dispute, the number of disabled men for whom employment has still to be found will decrease substantially in the near future, and that further improvement will result from additional efforts that are to be made to promote the success of the national Scheme for the employment of those men, when, within the next two or three weeks, the first edition of the King's National Roll is available. As regards the general causes of unemployment among these men, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to a comprehensive statement which was made in answer to a question asked by the hon. Member for Kirkdale on 22nd December.
Will the right hon. Gentleman cause inquiries to be made as to the demonstrations of disabled ex-Service men, with a view to ascertaining for what length of time the individuals concerned have been unemployed?
Sir R. HORNE
I shall be very glad to do anything in my power to assist in obtaining employment for any disabled men, but I do not think it is practicable to discover the men who are in the streets, and to ascertain the conditions of each man's case.
asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that there are about 100 discharged disabled men in the county of Wilts awaiting vocational training; that many of these men are on 20 per cent. to 70 per cent. pensions, and have not yet succeeded in obtaining work; and what steps he proposes to take in view of the fact that the out-of-work donation of these men will cease next month.
Sir R. HORNE
The figure given in the first part of the question is approximately correct. Every effort is being made to place these men in training and prior consideration will be given to individual cases of hardship that may arise out of the cessation of any man's out-of-work donation.
Mr. W. CARTER
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Mansfield Board of Guardians advertised in the papers for applicants for the position of registrar for births and deaths, stating that preference would be given to ex-service men, but although several ex-service wounded men applied for the position, a person has been appointed who has not been in His Majesty's Forces; and will he take the necessary steps to cancel the appointment and instruct the guardians to appoint a person in accordance with their advertisement?
The MINISTER of HEALTH (Dr. Addison)
The facts referred to in the question have already been brought to my notice and efforts have been made to induce the guardians to appoint an ex-service man to the office in question. The matter is, however, one for the guardians, and no powers are available under which the steps suggested in the last part of the question could be taken.
Is it not a fact that the guardians have not kept faith with their promise, which was distinctly made, that preference would be given to ex-service men, and will not this set a very bad example to private employers in regard to the employment of ex-service men? Is there any course which the right hon. Gentleman could take with a view to cancelling this appointment, which is contrary to the advice given by His Majesty the King and the Government department?
I entirely agree with my hon. Friend as to the deplorable eflect of this example, and if I had any power to intervene, under the circumstances I would.