§ 4 Mr. Grey
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he is aware of the continued rise in the number of unemployed in the northern region; and if he will take immediate steps to reverse this tendency by inducing new industries to come to this region;
(2) what immediate action he proposes to offset the rapid rise in the number of unemployed in the northern region;
(3) if he will give particulars of the steps he has taken during the last twelve months to establish new industries in the northern region.
§ 19. Mr. Blyton
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware of the growing number of children leaving school unable to get employment in County Durham; and what his Department is doing to bring new industries into the area to meet this situation.
§ 40. Mr. Ainsley
asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he has taken over the past twelve months to encourage new industry to go to those parts of the North-East which need it.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
My right hon. Friend is watching closely the increase in recent months in the numbers unemployed in the northern region and is aware that they include many school-leavers. He will continue to encourage new industry to go there. In the last twelve months, 87 industrial development certificates covering 2.7 million square feet have been granted for the region.
§ Mr. Grey
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that unemployment figures in the northern region are twice what they 999 were twelve months ago, and that they are higher than the national average, the prospect at the moment being pretty grim? Will he, as a long-term policy, use his best endeavours to steer more factories to the northern region, and, as a short-term policy, will he have consultations with the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Transport in order to provide more hospitals, more schools and a much better road programme, because these things would surely help a great deal?
§ Mr. Rodgers
If the unemployment situation in any places in the region makes it necessary, my right hon. Friend will add them to the list of places for which financial assistance is available. The fact is that there are, unfortunately, some areas in the country worse off than the northern region, such as Clydeside and West and South Wales.
§ Mr. Ainsley
Is the Minister aware that, six months ago, I raised this matter on a Parliamentary basis, and the Parliamentary Secretary's reply, on 6th May, was thatThe position is not as black as the hon. Member has indicated. In fact, employment opportunities in the area as a whole are satisfactory."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 6th May, 1958; Vol. 587, c. 1024.]Is the Minister aware that now there are twice the number of juveniles unemployed in the area compared with the number twelve months ago and that in my constituency four times the amount of financial aid is being paid out to juveniles compared with twelve months ago?
§ Mr. Rodgers
I am aware of the deep concern felt on those matters mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, and we realise that further diversification of industry in the area would be welcome. We are encouraging new industry to go to those parts of the North-East which need it.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Gentleman's Question was answered with Question No. 1000 4, and I looked at him then to see whether he wanted to ask a supplementary question.