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Written Answers

Volume 648: debated on Wednesday 1 November 1961

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Written Answers To Questions

Wednesday, 1st November, 1961

Uganda

Constitutional Conference

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will make a statement about the recent Uganda Constitutional Conference.

The Conference Report and the text of a draft Agreement with Buganda were published yesterday as Cmnd. No. 1523. The Report contains detailed proposals for a Constitution which will make Uganda internally self-governing from 1st March, 1962. This Constitution will also provide for a General Election in mid-April, 1962. The Report recognises that it will be necessary to discuss further constitutional changes before Uganda becomes independent.The draft Agreement with Buganda was initialled by the Katikiro and by my right hon. Friend, the Leader of the House, on 9 th October. Under this Agreement, Buganda will be united in a federal relationship, defined in detail in the Constitutional documents, with the rest of Uganda. The draft Agreement was subject to amendment by agreement between the parties, but I am pleased to say that it has since been accepted by the Lukiko, with only minor amendments.At the conclusion of the Conference, my right hon. Friend announced that, provided the discussions contemplated could be completed and the necessary arrangements made in time, Uganda would attain independence on 9th October, 1962.

Employment

Ex-Regulars (Resettlement)

asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement about the machinery for resettling ex-Regulars.

I am glad to be able to say that progress in resettling ex-Regulars, both officers and men, has continued to be very satisfactory. The Regular Forces Resettlement Service has won the confidence of the Forces, whilst the qualities which ex-Regulars have to offer have been increasingly appreciated in industry and commerce. This state of affairs redounds to the credit of the many ex-Regulars who have already established themselves and proved their worth in their new careers.In these circumstances, I have decided that the special post of Director of Resettlement can now lapse without disadvantage to the men and women who each year will be leaving the Regular Forces and seeking employment in civil life. Accordingly, Air Chief Marshal Sir Ronald Ivelaw-Chapman has, on the expiry of his current period of office, now relinquished his appointment as Director of Resettlement which he has held since its inception in 1957. He has agreed to make himself available for advice or consultation should occasion arise, and I should like to take this opportunity of thanking him for the valuable assistance he has given in this important work.The Regular Forces Resettlement Service will of course continue, and the Regional Resettlement Committees, which have contributed a great deal to the success of resettlement, remain in existence. My Department will continue to make the necessary arrangements for co-ordination.

Offices Act, 1960 (Implementation)

asked the Minister of Labour when legislation will be introduced dealing with the safety, health and welfare of workers in shops, offices and railway premises.

As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary told the House on 28th July, 1960, the Government had intended to introduce a Bill on this subject before the Offices Act, I960, entered into force on 1st January, 1962. The programme of essential legislation for the current Session is, however, already so full that it has been reluctantly decided that there will not be time for proper Parliamentary examination of this complex and far-reaching Measure. The Government's comprehensive Bill on the subject will therefore be deferred until the 1962–63 Session of Parliament. Since this legislation will be introduced in the autumn of 1962, no action will be taken in the meantime to implement the Offices Act, 1960.

Government Training Centres

asked the Minister of Labour if he will make a statement about the proposed cuts in Government training centres and in the services for disabled.

I am not going to make any reduction in these services in relation to the demand for them. But in the interests of economical administration I intend to reduce the provision in next year's Estimates, both in terms of staff and money, to no more than is sufficient to meet the demand for these services, which has recently been running below the provision made. I am considering the closure of two Government Training Centres, but only because they are not being fully used and because these particular centres are close to others which can provide for local needs. None of the first year apprenticeship classes will be closed. Additional industrial rehabilitation units were opened at Peri-vale in June, 1960, at Hillington in August, 1960, and at Aintree as recently as August of this year, and I shall not close any units nor place any limit on their intake of disabled persons. I can assure the hon. Member that no person who is eligible and suitable will be denied the services which it is my responsibility to provide.