HC Deb 01 December 1938 vol 342 cc562-4
2. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour how much money has been allocated by the Special Commissioner from all available sources in the establishment of new industries in the county of Durham; and how much in Northumberland?

Mr. E. Brown

Apart from the Team Valley Trading Estate, the sums allocated from the Special Areas Fund, including commitments, up to 31st October, 1938, for the provision of sites and factories and in respect of contributions under Section 3 of the Special Areas Act, 1937, for the purpose of inducing the establishment of new industries was £231,000 for the Special Areas in the county of Durham and £6,450 for those in Northumberland. In addition, there was a commitment of £2,336,500 in respect of the Team Valley Trading Estate, which is situated in the county of Durham but employs a considerable proportion of persons resident in Northumberland. The figures given do not include loans from the Treasury under Section 6 of the Special Areas Act, 1937, or from the Special Areas Reconstruction Association, or moneys made available by the Nuffield Trustees.

3. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour whether, as the fall in the unemployment figures in Wallsend is due almost entirely to the re-armament programme and not to the Special Areas Acts, he can say what steps the Commissioner is taking to provide against unemployment when the re-armament programme comes to an end?

Mr. Brown

The efforts of the Commissioner and of the North-East Coast Development Board are directed towards introducing work of a permanent character. Meanwhile, I am sure my hon. Friend will not wish to complain of the substantial reduction in unemployment arising in large part from the Defence programme, and I would point out that, given a proper degree of local initiative, this improvement should afford a better basis for attracting new industries to the area.

Miss Ward

While thanking my right hon. Friend, may I ask whether, in view of the fact that he did not answer my question in the Debate last week, there is to be a policy in regard to the measures to be taken respecting shipping and shipbuilding, or is it to be a general policy?

Mr. Brown

That is a matter for the Board of Trade. Last week, in answer to a question, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade said that he was waiting for consultations with the shipping and shipbuilding industries.

Mr. Lawson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these reductions in unemployment are almost entirely due to rearmament, and is he aware that this is causing very great alarm among people of all views in the north?

4. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to reduce the unemployment figures in Willington Quay, part of the borough of Wallsend?

Mr. Brown

I would remind my hon. Friend of her correspondence on this subject with the Commissioner, in the course of which she was informed of the efforts made to induce employers to establish new factories in this area, and was advised that if she wished to assist their efforts in a practical form her best course was to co-operate closely with the North East Coast Development Board.

Miss Ward

Will the Commissioner send someone to investigate the causes of unemployment at Willington, so that we may have a little additional capital spent there, in view of the large amount spent in Durham County?

Mr. Brown

I do not think it is necessary to call the Commissioner's attention to this matter. The hon. Lady knows from correspondence she has had with me that a number of industrialists have been induced to look at Willington Quay, but up to the moment, apart from one, neither the efforts of the hon. Lady, the Commissioner, the Development Board nor myself have been sufficient to attract them there.

Mr. George Griffiths

Has there not been a great deal of romance in the past, without any good?

Mr. Brown

It is a reality.

11. Mr. W. Joseph Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour the total insured industrial population in the administrative county of Durham, and the county boroughs of Sunderland and South Shields, for the years 1931 and 1938, respectively?

Mr. Brown

I am having the figures extracted and will circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

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