HC Deb 29 April 1937 vol 323 c504
4. Mr. H. G. Williams

asked the Minister of Labour the cause of the continued high level of unemployment which was 42.7 per cent. at the end of March of persons recorded, belonging to the public works contracting industry?

Mr. E. Brown

The high rate of unemployment among insured persons recorded as belonging to this industry is mainly due to the fact that large numbers of unemployed workers from other depressed industries were temporarily engaged on public works set in hand for the relief of unemployment during the years 1930–32, and have not since found employment in some other industry. I may point out that the numbers actually in employment in the public works contracting industry are now considerably greater than in 1929.

Mr. Williams

Are these men concentrated in a few parts of the country, or are they distributed?

Mr. Brown

They are distributed very widely.

Mr. Craven-Ellis

Is it the policy of the Government to discourage public works of this kind?

Mr. Brown

That is much too general a question to be answered now.

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