HC Deb 04 February 1929 vol 224 cc1395-6
45. Mr. BATEY

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the growing number of cases of poverty and distress in Durham and Northumberland, as revealed during the last few days, what steps he proposes to take to deal with these districts?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Baldwin)

The steps which the Government are taking to deal with distress in Durham and Northumberland and the other depressed mining areas were fully ex- plained in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech in the Debate on the Address on 8th November and in my statement on 17th December. Information as to the progress made with the organisation and distribution of the Lord Mayor's Fund is being given by the President of the Board of Education in reply to a later question put down by the hon. Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Lansbury).


Are we to understand from that answer that the poverty revealed last week, which staggered the country, has made no impression upon the Government and that the Government intend to do nothing more?


Is it not perfectly clear that the steps already taken by the Government and those in contemplation are inadequate for the purpose?


That is another question. The hon. Member's question on the Paper began: In view of the growing number of cases. As a matter of fact, there is rather more employment in that district, and the unemployment figures are falling now in Durham and Northumberland.


Will the Prime Minister give his reasons for making the last statement, that the unemployment figures have fallen? Are we to understand that the Government propose to do nothing further than they have done? Are the Government not prepared to take into consideration the revelations that were made last week?




I have answered the question put down by the hon. Member.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the steps that Members of the Government have taken is that of the Minister of Health, who under present circumstances has stopped outdoor relief?