HC Deb 01 November 1939 vol 352 c1915
29. Mr. Ede

asked the Minister of Transport the number of road schemes, in respect of which grant had been indicated, which have been stopped by the order of, or with the consent of, his Department; the estimated original cost of such schemes; and the estimated remaining unexpended balance?

Captain Wallace

Up to date, it has been decided to suspend 2,352 road schemes, in respect of which grant had been indicated. The original estimated cost of these schemes was £45,115,000. It is not yet possible to give any precise estimate of the unexpended balance, since the exact stages at which many of the schemes will be closed down have not yet been settled. It appears probable, however, that the unexpended balance will be not less than £33,000,000. In addition, 215 trunk road schemes which I had approved for execution have already been suspended. The total estimated cost of such schemes was £7,500,000 and the unexpended balance will be over £7,000,000.

Mr. Ede

Before closing down these schemes will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Minister of Labour in regard to the possible effect on unemployment in some of the areas concerned?

Captain Wallace

Yes, Sir. I think I have already stated in the House that I keep in the closest touch with the Minister of Labour on this subject. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is a vitally important aspect of the matter.

Mr. Lawson

Has not the Minister of Labour told the House that in these particular areas unemployment has not gone down?