HC Deb 09 October 1924 vol 177 cc717-9

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the steady rise in the number of unemployed persons and of the approach of winter, His Majesty's Government have any new proposals to lay before Parliament for increasing employment during the winter months?


The proposals of the Govern-merit for providing employment, in view of the probable increase in unemployment with the approach of winter, were outlined in debate on the 30th July. Progress has since been made with the development of the measures then referred to. Many schemes of work approved for Government grant are in operation, and others will shortly be commenced. The Government would not hesitate to come to the House for authority to adopt new proposals should this be required. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a brief summary of the proposals now in hand or in active preparation.


Are we to assume that the Government have no new proposals other than the ideas that have already been outlined?


The right hon. and learned Gentleman may assume that if he likes. It was not in the answer.


Will the number of the unemployed be largely added to after to-day?

Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY

How many are now employed on these works?


I must have notice of that question.


Arising out of the supplementary question, may I ask the Minister of Labour if he is making any arrangements for dealing with the large amount of unemployment there will be in Members on the opposite side after the Election?


That is a purely hypothetical question.


Will the Minister please inform us to what. unemployment exchange we shall have to approach to get our money?


So far as the first supplementary question is concerned, I am not aware that either on this side or the other side hon. Members are insured!

Following is the summary referred to:

The proposals of the Government for the coming winter include:—

  1. (1) Grants by the Ministry of Transport towards the cost of schemes for the construction and improvement of roads and bridges;
  2. (2) Grants by the Unemployment Grants Committee to Local Authorities and Public Utility Companies towards the cost of miscellaneous works of public utility.
  3. (3) Grants by the Ministry of Agriculture (and the Board of Agriculture for Scotland) for schemes of land drainage, etc.
  4. (4) A considerably extended programme of afforestation.
  5. (5) Experimental reclamation of land on the Wash.
  6. (6) Acceleration of contracts by Government Departments.
  7. (7) Further guarantees under the Trade Facilities Acts.
  8. (8) Assistance in the form of a subsidy to the sugar beet industry.
Progress is being made with other schemes, such as the Severn Barrage, and steps toward considerable electricity development are being discussed with the representatives of the industry.

19. Lieut.-Colonel JAMES on behalf of

asked the Minister of Labour how many extra men are being employed as a result of the new schemes of work started by the Government since they have been in office?


I have looked into the existing returns, and find they do not enable a reliable figure to be given for the total number of men employed on relief work schemes. It is not practicable, without quite disproportionate expense, to obtain figures separately for old and new schemes, but I am considering whether it will be possible to obtain and issue periodically figures for men directly employed on Government assisted schemes.

Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many have been employed on any new schemes in connection with the Wash?

Forward to