HC Deb 02 March 1939 vol 344 cc1415-6
16. Mr. Daggar

asked the Minister of Labour whether in view of the fact that the trading estate at Treforest has absorbed a considerable number of unemployed persons from the many special areas in South Wales and Monmouthshire, he will now consider with the Commissioner for Special Areas, the immediate clearance of sites, and the erection of standard factories in those districts which have not benefited from the Treforest estate?

Mr. E. Brown

The Commissioner for the Special Areas is prepared in suitable circumstances to provide a factory and to afford other facilities to encourage the establishment of new industrial undertakings outside the trading estates but in general he is not prepared to consider the erection of factories or the immediate clearance of further sites in advance of requirements. I hope that the hon. Member will not overlook the advantage accruing to all areas by the testimony to South Wales which the success of the Trading Estate provides.

17. Mr. Daggar

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the production of coal in South Wales and Mon mouthshire in 1937 was 689,000 tons more than in 1931, with 22,161 fewer mineworkers; and whether he has any proposals to deal with this situation?

Mr. Brown

The ability to obtain the same or larger output with a smaller direct employment of labour is not confined to the coal industry, and I have no power to restrict it, even if it were advisable to do so. It has in the past been accompanied by the development of new opportunities for employment and the encouragement of such a development is one of the ways in which the Government are endeavouring to help South Wales and Monmouthshire, in addition, of course, to taking all practicable measures to improve the market for coal.

18. Mr. Daggar

asked the Minister of Labour the number of persons who left the area covered by the employment ex changes in Crumlin, Abertillery, and Blaina during 1938, by obtaining employment themselves or with the assistance of the above exchanges?

Mr. Brown

I am making inquiries to see what information is available and will write to the hon. Member.