HC Deb 02 May 1950 vol 474 cc1558-9
21. Sir D. Robertson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that the unemployed labour force registered at Wick and Thurso comprises nine building operatives, 45 civil engineering labourers and 116 general labourers; and if in these circumstances he will allocate more houses to Caithness and Sutherland where they are urgently required.

Mr. T. Fraser

In addition to the 168 houses under construction for local authorities in Caithness and Sutherland on 21st April, 260 houses, including 118 allocated about a month ago, had not yet been started. There is therefore plenty of work in the present programme to employ all the building labour which can be recruited in this area.

Sir D. Robertson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that he has just repeated the answer which his right hon. Friend read out to the House last week, when he invited me at that time to put forward any suggestions. I immediately made inquiries, and I found this large number of unemployed semi-skilled labour; and is it beyond the wit of the Government to put these men to work in order to provide the homes that are so badly needed?

Mr. Fraser

I wonder if it is beyond the wit of the contractors for the houses already under construction to employ the labour available.