HC Deb 01 July 1937 vol 325 cc2119-20
3. Mr. W. Joseph Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the insured unemployment figures for Bishop Auckland are 36.2, Shildon 35.2, and Crook 26.9, all in South-West Durham; and what steps are being taken by the South-West Durham Improvement Association to deal with this situation?

Mr. E. Brown

The South-West Durham Improvement Association has not yet been registered but the board of the association has, I understand, already met and is giving consideration to its programme. I can assure the hon. Member that no opportunity will be neglected by the association, or by any other agency working in collaboration with the Commissioner for the Special Areas, for any practicable steps towards the reduction of the unemployment figures to which he refers.

Mr. Stewart

Is it the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to keep in communication with the South-West Durham Improvement Association, with a view to introducing works schemes in that particular area in order to absorb those who are unemployed?

Mr. Brown

I am in very close and most constant touch with the association, and I am watching its development with very great interest.

4. Mr. Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour whether any arrangement has yet been come to between the Durham County Council and the Commissioner for the Special Areas for the prevention of water flowing into the colliery working at Evenwood Colliery from the River Gaunless; and, if so, what these arrangements are?

Mr. Brown

I understand that the Commissioner for the Special Areas (England and Wales) has received a report from the Durham County Council on this subject, in which the Council stated that in their opinion it was not possible to give any estimate of the cost of remedial works or to guarantee that these would be effective. In these circumstances the Commissioner has indicated his willingness to make a grant to the South-West Durham Reconstruction and Development Board of the cost of a detailed survey of the problem, including the preparation of a schedule of remedial works. The report when completed will be available for consideration by the various interests concerned.