HC Deb 07 March 1934 vol 286 cc1810-1
42. Mr. DICKIE

asked the Minister of Labour whether the Government has yet given consideration to the question of the transference of population necessitated by the closing of redundant shipyards, the abandonment of worked-out coal mines, and the shutting down of derelict steel works; and when he will be in a position to announce the policy of the Government regarding it?


My right hon. Friend is alive to the problem to which my hon. Friend refers and I may say that the transfer of surplus labour from depressed areas to those of greater industrial activity is part of the settled policy of the Government. Continuous steps have been taken to this end through the machinery of the Employment Exchanges and through the training centres. Though necessarily the amount is conditioned by the receptive capacity of the more prosperous districts a considerable amount of transfer has been effected by these means. I should add that the growth in industrial population in certain areas indicates that a redistribution of labour is taking place in addition to the stimulus afforded by Government action.


While I am very grateful to the Parliamentary Secretary for his reply, I would like to ask him whether, having regard to the tragic human fact of these thousands of men who will never again be absorbed into their own occupations, the Government will not consider the advisability of setting up an independent committee to consider this as a separate and independent problem?