HC Deb 28 February 1952 vol 496 cc1429-30
5. Mr. Ralph Morley

asked the Minister of Labour if his attention has been called to the recent increase in unemployment in Southampton particularly in the shipbuilding and ship-repairing trades; and if he will make a statement.

Sir W. Monckton

The increase in unemployment at Southampton is mainly a seasonal increase among shipyard workers, following the completion of winter repairs to liners. The numbers involved are lower than in the two preceding years.

Mr. Morley

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that there were 2,000 men and women unemployed in Southampton last week-end and that this is causing grave anxiety in the port? Can he use his influence to get more Admiralty work for Southampton and to have a start made on the building of the generating station at Marchwood and the re-building of the cold storage in the docks in order to provide alternative employment?

Sir W. Monckton

I will certainly look into the figures which the hon. Gentleman has given me, which are perhaps later than any I have. If there is anything I can do with my right hon. Friends to help, I will endeavour to do it.

Mr. Anthony Fell

In view of the answer of the Minister, would my right hon. and learned Friend consider having unemployment figures published by his local offices from month to month, particularly since, not only in my constituency, but, no doubt, also in other places, the figures are being exaggerated beyond the truth because the Government is now a Conservative one?

Sir W. Monckton

I will do what I can to ensure that the latest available information is before the House. It is difficult to get it checked right up to date, but I will certainly consider the suggestion made by my hon. Friend.