§ 41. Dr. Stross
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a statement on employment of building trade workers in Stoke-on-Trent, giving the numbers unemployed at the latest available date, and those for the two previous years.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
Unemployment in building is virtually unchanged in Stoke-on-Trent from last year. On 17th March, 1958, there were 358 unemployed workers whose last employment was in the building industry, compared with 353 in March, 1957, and 143 in March, 1956.
§ Dr. Stross
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if the picture is looked at in reverse one finds that the number of men employed is about half the number that was employed two years ago? In view of the fact that so little building is now possible in the area, will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to see whether assistance can be given to solve the problem?
§ Mr. Macleod
In this area at least, the unemployment figures have not increased over the last year, whereas they have substantially increased in the rest of the country. I will look into what the hon. Member has said. He has put some of his thoughts in an Adjournment debate in this House. As he knows, the local council has a rather rigid attitude on the question of a differential rent scheme, which affects the position in Stoke-on-Trent.