HC Deb 18 March 1952 vol 497 c2084
21. Lieut.-Colonel Marcus Lipton

asked the Minister of Labour how many building workers are now unemployed in the London area; and what steps he is taking to provide work for them.

Sir W. Monckton

Eight thousand five hundred and nineteen in Greater London on 11th February. This total includes over 4,000 painters and about 2,500 labourers. Employment exchanges are making every effort to find suitable employment for these men. Painting and decorating work is being licensed without restriction by the Ministry of Works and by local authorities. The general ban on new building work during the period December, 1951, to February, 1952, was lifted in the London area.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is it not lamentable that so many thousands of building workers should be unemployed at a time when thousands of houses are so urgently needed? Is the Minister aware that it is getting quite like the old days of Tory rule?

Sir W. Monckton

I have every hope that most of these people will be back at normal work within the next few weeks. The figure in February, 1951, though considerably less than it is at present, was nearly 6,000.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

Is the Minister aware that the building trade workers feel that he could give greater service to this country and to the people of this country if he would advise the Prime Minister to tender the Government's resignation?