HC Deb 04 March 1937 vol 321 cc508-12
17. Mr. W. Joseph Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour in view of the serious nature of the report on the conditions in South-West Durham, what steps he is taking to deal with the situation so as to find work for the large number of unemployed and to plan the district generally on new lines?

Mr. E. Brown

I hope to be in a position during the forthcoming Debates to indicate what steps are to be taken as a result of the report to which the hon. Member refers.

Mr. Stewart

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the White Paper issued this week there are no schemes of work for South-West Durham, and is it the intention of the right hon. Gentleman or the Government which he represents to do anything worth while for that particular area?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Member will wait until Monday.

Mr. Stewart

We have been waiting for months.

Mr. Batey

We have been waiting for years.

18 Mr. Batey

asked the Minister of Labour (1) the amount of money spent by the Commissioner for the Special Areas; where the money has been spent; and how much of it will provide employment and the nature of the employment.

(2) the amount of money described as commitments by the Commissioner for the Special Areas; where the commitments are; and the nature of the works to provide employment;

Summary of Commitments and Expenditure to 31st January, 1937.
Commitment. Expenditure.
£ £ £ £
Harbour and Quay Development 503,230 4,230
Clearance and Improvement of Sites 221,940 68,780
Trading Estates Companies 2,232,500 153,000
Development Councils 25,080 14,980
Miscellaneous 33,860 5,590
3,016,610 246,580
Hospitals 1,519,360 23,220
Maternity and Child Welfare Centres 39,610 8,560
District Nursing and Ambulance Services 53,250 31,400
Baths 120,000 36,100
Water Supply 107,210 36,630
Sewerage and Sewage Disposal 1,028,800 233,120
Miscellaneous 22,060 6,160
2,890,290 375,190
North Eastern Housing Association 207,470 188,130
Miscellaneous 4,700
212,170 188,130
Small Holdings Schemes 2,080,980 700,000
Group Holdings Schemes 88,680 36,670
Assisted Allotment Schemes 14,990 2,440
2,184,650 739,110
Voluntary (Local Amenities) Schemes 44,670 30,690
Other Measures of Social Improvement:
Social Settlements 48,170 26,250
Permanent Premises for Occupational Clubs and Centres. 6,820 6,810
Development of Social Service Work among Women. 57,400 30,000
Social Work among Adolescent Boys and Girls 119,980 75,000
Holiday Camps for School Children 291,980 208,310
Educational Activities and Library Services 56,210 33,710
Physical Training Classes 15,000 12,750
Community Centres 20,000
Youth Centres 34,000
Youth Hostels 10,000 1,220
Sunderland House Decoration Scheme 10,000 500
Miscellaneous 7,030 4,480
676,590 399,030
Subsistence Production Scheme 56,500 55,250
Restoration of Durham Castle 10,000 4,000
Other Activities 8,520 2,020
75,020 61,270
£9,100,000 £2,040,000

It is not possible to give separate figures of the expenditure or commitments

(3) the amount of money spent, or proposed to be spent, by the Commissioner for the Special Areas in South-West Durham to provide employment?

Mr. Brown

As the reply involves a tabular statement, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

incurred for each individual area. But information is given in the Commissioner's reports regarding the places in which schemes have been undertaken. It should also be noted that the Commissioner's grants are designed to promote the economic developments and social improvement of the areas and not primarily to provide employment.

23. Mr. Whiteley

asked the Minister of Labour whether the Team Valley Trading Estate is now fully, controlled by the trading estate authorities, or whether the Gateshead Corporation house-planning scheme is still in existence as part of the estate and is to go forward?

Mr. Brown

I assume that the hon. Member refers to the town planning scheme known as the Central North Durham Joint Planning Scheme which embraces the site of the Team Valley Trading Estate. I am informed that the authorities concerned have agreed to a modification to permit the proposed layout of the trading estate.

Mr. Whiteley

Are we to understand from the answer that those people who have individual interests are to be allowed to build their own houses, or is there to be some exchange made?

Mr. Brown

Perhaps the hon. Member will either discuss it with me or put a question on the Paper.

Sir Francis Fremantle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Sutton Dwellings Trustees have offered to build houses on this estate, and that they have been refused a site; and will he advise that the refusal of this offer should be reversed?

Mr. Brown

I am aware that there is more than one complication in this matter.

24. Mr. Sexton

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will publish the findings of the independent experts who, at the request of Sir Malcolm Stewart, agreed to carry out a survey of South-West Durham, to find out whether there were further schemes which merited the assistance of the Commissioner for the Special Areas, as mentioned in paragraph 146 of the third report?

Mr. Brown

The report to which the hon. Member refers was a survey of sanitary services in South-West Durham and was made by two officials of the Ministry of Health at the request of the Commissioner for Special Areas. I see no reason to reconsider the decision conveyed to the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) on 16th November.

Mr. Sexton

Will the right hon. Gentleman, in spite of the recent business experts' report, see that this Special Area is not abandoned to demolition?

63. Mr. Jenkins

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the number of undertakings in each of the Special Areas financed by the Special Areas Reconstruction Association; the number of persons employed in such undertakings; and the total loan capital advanced?

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Lieut.-Colonel Colville)

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend to the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Anderson) on 3rd December, 1936, from which he will see why it is considered undesirable to give figures for the individual areas covered by the Special Areas Reconstruction Association.

64. Mr. E. J. Williams

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury the value of orders which have gone to the Special Areas and the name and amount for each area, respectively, of work in actual progress?

Lieut.-Colonel Colville

As regards orders given by the Service Departments, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on the 1st February by the Minister for Co-ordination of Defence to my hon. Friend the Member for Belfast, South (Mr. W. John Stewart), and also to the statement on this subject contained in Command Paper 5386, issued this week. The policy of preference also applies to orders placed by the Civil Departments, but their amount is necessarily small in comparison, and I fear that it has not been possible in the time available to obtain particulars. For the reasons explained in previous answers, I regret that I cannot give figures for each area separately.