HC Deb 20 March 1958 vol 584 cc1414-5
21. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what steps are being taken by the Government of Hong Kong to encourage new industries which do not require high capital investment, in order to provide employment for the increasing numbers of unemployed workers.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The Hong Kong Government give much aid to small-scale industries by providing special accommodation on resettlement estates and by establishing specially designed experimental factories. Furthermore these industries, in common with others, enjoy the benefits of great Government activity in land reclamation, water supply improvement, and overseas trade promotion. The population of Hong Kong is increasing, but I have no evidence that unemployment is.

Mr. Rankin

While those efforts are welcomed, is not it the case that, as the result of the closing of the dockyard, there has been a considerable increase in the number of unemployed? While there is no registration, is any attempt made to give a dependable estimate of the number of people unemployed in Hong Kong? Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that, if we are to give these people a sense of belonging to a community, a job and a home are absolutely necessary?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

The hon. Gentleman is not quite right. Of the 390 workers discharged from the dockyard by 15th March, only 15 below retiring age are still without work, and at least 10 of those are under consideration for new jobs.