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Discharged Service Personnel (Rehabilitation)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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2.

asked the Minister of Labour what powers he has to direct men and women discharged from the Services on grounds of neurosis or temporary instability to undergo training at residential or other centres under his control; and what steps he is taking to rehabilitate these persons?

The treatment and rehabilitation of persons discharged from the Services on grounds of neurosis or temporary instability are undertaken in appropriate cases at special centres under the Emergency Hospital Scheme. The centres under my control are vocational training centres, and in so far as persons leaving neurosis centres are in need of learning a new trade, arrangements are made for their admission on a voluntary basis. I have power to direct persons where necessary to the training centres, but I doubt whether compulsion in these cases would be in the best interest of those concerned.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a danger in these cases that if action is not taken to direct people to training, they may drift into crime or, alternatively, may be a burden on the State for the rest of their lives?

It is very doubtful whether in neurosis cases compulsion is the right method to use. It is a very difficult subject.

39.

asked the Minister of Pensions what arrangements he has with the Minister of Labour to afford residential training to men and women discharged from the services on grounds of neurosis or temporary instability as part of their rehabilitative treatment?

The special arrangements made in October, 1941, in consultation with the other Departments concerned, ensure that the provisions of the interim scheme for the training of disabled persons introduced by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour are readily available to all disabled ex-Service personnel who are admitted to the special neurological centres administered by the Ministry of Health and the Department of Health for Scotland, and who are in need of vocational training; and for this purpose, these institutions maintain an active liaison with the appropriate local office machinery of the Ministry of Labour.

Could my hon. Friend tell me how many cases in fact have been trained by the Ministry of Labour?