HC Deb 04 November 1937 vol 328 cc1092-3
30. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the unemployment figures in Willington Quay are higher than in any other part of Northumberland and Durham; how long negotiations have been in progress for the replanning of Willington Quay; and whether he will immediately inquire into the position and future of this area of Wallsend with a view to an improvement of the industrial conditions?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware of the heavy unemployment in Willington Quay, though it has not, in fact, higher unemployment figures than any other part of Northumberland and Durham. Early in 1935, the District Commissioner for the Durham and Tyneside Special Area initiated discussions with the Wallsend Corporation on the possibility of clearing derelict sites at Willington Quay. It was found that there were considerable technical difficulties to overcome. I understand that the corporation are at present negotiating with the various interests concerned with a view to producing a satisfactory scheme, and I can assure my hon. Friend that, as soon as such a scheme is submitted, it will receive consideration from the Commissioner and any other Departments concerned.

Miss Ward

Does my right hon. Friend not think that a very long period has been covered by the consideration of those negotiations, and will he reconsider his decision, as he has on several other occa- sions for other areas, and see whether the negotiations cannot be pressed on?

Mr. Brown

In view of the very complicated difficulties of the local situation, I do not think that there has been any undue delay here.

Miss Ward

Not any more complicated than they are in other parts of the country.