HC Deb 13 November 1958 vol 595 cc555-6
31. Mr. Swingler

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the need for special action to restore full employment in the United Kingdom economy, especially in areas like Newcastle-under-Lyme, where the percentage of unemployment has risen to 3.6 per cent. compared with the national average of 2.2 per cent.; and what particular measures he is planning for this purpose.

Mr. Erroll

I would draw the hon. Member's attention to the successive measures my right hon. Friend has announced in recent months to encourage the highest possible levels of employment, consistent with the avoidance of inflation. Some of these measures are designed specifically for areas of high unemployment though others should have a more general effect.

Mr. Swingler

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that answer will give no sort of satisfaction at all to the increasing numbers of my constituents who have been suffering unemployment over the last three years? Is he aware that some sort of positive action is required in these places which are suffering a higher than average unemployment? As a short-term programme I would suggest the abolition of Purchase Tax on pottery, building the by-pass around Newcastle-under-Lyme, and adding two or three school projects to the school building programme. Will he consider with his colleagues these positive measures as a start? After he has accepted those, I will give him a few more.

Mr. Erroll

I am sure that my right hon. Friend will be grateful for those suggestions.