HC Deb 25 February 1926 vol 192 cc694-5

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the increase in the unemployment figures for Devonport; and whether, in view of the Government's policy of bringing into the town the personnel from Rosyth and Pembroke dockyards, the Government have any special proposals to make for the alleviation of the distress in the town?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland)

I have been asked to reply. The recent increase in unemployment amongst men in Devonport has not been considerable. The average percentage of unemployment for 12 months to the end of November, 1925, was 10.5. On the 14th December, 1925, it was 9.6 and on the 15th February, 1926, 10.4. I am not aware that there has been any increase in unemployment in consequence of transfers from Pembroke and Rosyth, and I would point out further that owing to the new arrangements certain work has been done at Devonport which otherwise would have been done elsewhere. In these circumstances the need for special measures does not appear to arise.


According to the figures which the right hon. Gentleman gave to me, unemployment has increased every month during the last six months, and if more personnel are brought from Rosyth the unemployment problem will be even greater; and cannot the right hon. Gentleman persuade the Prime Minister to show the same solicitude for this town as he does for Scotland?


I will do my best to watch the figures and find out if there is an increase, but as I have said work is being done at Devonport now which I hope will obviate any such result. On the figures, as I have shown, comparing November with last year unemployment is slightly less.