§ 2. Mr. STOREY
asked the Minister of Labour what action the Commissioner for the special areas has taken, or proposes to take, upon the report submitted to him by a joint committee of the northeast sections of the Institute of Chemistry, the Chemical Society, and the Society of Chemical Industry?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
The report covered a wide range of subjects, and, I am informed, the Commissioner is still engaged in examining them in conjunction with the many interests concerned.
§ 22. Mr. HOPKIN
asked the Minister of Labour how much of the £296,000 disbursed to date by the Commissioners of special areas has been spent in Wales; and what amount out of the £2,800,000 commitments is confined to Wales?
§ 23 and 24. Mr. STOREY
asked the Minister of Labour (1) the amount and purpose of any grants, made by the Commissioner for the special areas to assist the unemployed in the county borough of Sunderland;
1917 (2) whether in view of the fact that 9,564 applicants for insurance benefit and unemployment assistance, or 39 per cent. of the unemployed or over 16 per cent. of the insured workers registered on 22nd July, 1935, at the Sunderland, Pallion, and Southwick-on-Wear employment exchanges, had been unemployed for periods of from one to five years and over and that over 5,000 of them had been unemployed for three years and over, he will ask the Commissioner for the special areas to prepare a scheme or schemes to deal specifically with unemployment in Sunderland?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
As has been pointed out on previous occasions, the purpose of the Commissioners for the special areas is to promote the social improvement and industrial development of those areas. It is not part of their duty to formulate schemes designed primarily to provide employment. I am having inquiries made as to the grants from the Special Areas Fund directly attributable to the Commissioner's work in Sunderland and will send the hon. Member particulars. There are, however, other grants made by the Commissioner to national organisations, e.g., for social service or land settlement, which benefit residents in Sunderland as well as other special areas; the amount of these affecting Sunderland cannot be stated.