HC Deb 13 May 1930 vol 238 cc1608-9
27. Mr. HOPKIN

asked the Lord Privy Seal what progress has been made on works for the relief of unemployment in Carmarthenshire; what amount of money has been spent on roads, land drainage, waterworks and sewerage schemes; and if he is satisfied that every step is being taken by all parties concerned to reduce the number of the unemployed in the county?


Every effort is being made to deal expeditiously with schemes submited for the relief of unemployment but as stated in my reply of the 6th March to my hon. Friend, the local authorities in this area have so far taken only a very limited advantage of the facilities available. I will, if I may, circulate details of the various schemes in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Is the right hon. Gentleman now convinced that the only way to deal with this problem is to set up a National Board for Wales?


No, I would see no justification for setting no a National Board for Wales because one particular local authority will not play its part. That is rather the justification for bringing as much pressure as possible upon the local authorities by the hon. Member and those interested.


Since the Government are clearly one of the parties concerned, is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that his Department and the Government generally are doing all that they can to help unemployment?


I am not only satisfied of that, but, when the hon. Member realises that we have sanctioned over £90,000,000 of expenditure in 10 months, as compared with £10,000,000 in two years by the late Government, I am sure that he will see that we are doing all that we can.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

But look at the unemployment figures!

Following are the details:

The Unemployment Grants Committee have since 1st June, 1929, approved two schemes submitted by local authorities within the county of Carmarthen, one in respect of waterworks estimated to cost £2,500, and the other for the preparation of a playing field, estimated to cast £484. These schemes have been in operation for some months. Six other schemes estimated to cost about £23,000 are under consideration by the Committee. Two of these estimated to cost about £14,000 have been received within the last two or three weeks. It is understood that there are certain other schemes in contemplation. The Ministry of Transport have approved for commencement, under the five-year programme, road schemes estimated to cost £38,970. Further road schemes estimated to cost £17,259 have been approved in principle on the understanding that they will be put in hand during the current financial year. Under the trunk road programme, schemes estimated to cost £9,096 have been approved for commencement. Further schemes estimated to cost £10,491 have been approved in principle, and still further schemes estimated to cost approximately £58,000 are under consideration. No information is available as to the expenditure to date on these road schemes. As regards land drainage, no scheme has yet been submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture for grant.