HC Deb 23 July 1931 vol 255 cc1652-3

asked the Minister of Labour if the Unemployment Grants Committee have received the application for a grant forwarded by the Guis-borough Rural Council and the Marske Parish Council to enable them to commence certain schemes of work at Marske to provide employment for the unemployed in that area; and why this application has not yet been granted?


This application has been considered by the Unemployment Grants Committee, who have felt unable to recommend grant.


asked the Minister of Labour how many schemes for the relief of unemployment have been submitted to the Unemployment Grants Committee by the Eston Urban Council and the Redcar Borough Council; the combined cost; the amount of the Government contribution; and the number of persons found employment by the schemes from 1st July, 1929, to the latest available date?


Since 1st June, 1929, three schemes of a total estimated cost of £34,700 have been submitted by the Eston Urban District Council and have been approved. One of these, estimated to cost £10,500 was subsequently withdrawn and the other two are now completed. During the same period the Redcar Borough Council submitted 31 schemes, estimated to cost £119,600. Of these schemes, six, estimated to cost £20,000, were withdrawn, or found not to comply with the conditions, and three, estimated to cost £8,000, are still under consideration. The remaining 22 were approved, 20 have been completed and two are still in operation, on which 47 men were employed on 26th June. The amount of Government contribution to approved schemes varies with the nature of the scheme.

11. Lieut.-Colonel GAULT

asked the Minister of Labour whether her attention has been drawn to the instances where labour-saving machinery is taking the place of manual labour in some of the schemes undertaken by local authorities under the various Acts governing the relief of unemployment; and if, in view of the fact that the public money involved was voted primarily for the assistance of the unemployed, she will take steps to see that the maximum number of people are employed under the schemes concerned?


This point has been considered by the Unemployment Grants Committee and I cannot dissent from their view, as stated in paragraph 29 of their report to 30th August, 1930, of which I am sending the hon. and gallant Member a copy.

Lieut.-Colonel GAULT

Will the right hon. Lady consider the advisability of specifying, with each Grant-in-Aid, that a certain number of men should be employed?


I am afraid that it is wholly impracticable, because the local authorities have power to decide that they must accept the contract that shows the least cost to the ratepayers, and that may involve the use of mechanical devices.