HC Deb 11 June 1959 vol 606 cc1154-5
8. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the unemployment situation in Northern Rhodesia, giving the number of African and European unemployed, respectively; and what steps are being taken by the Government of Northern Rhodesia to remedy the situation.

Mr. J. Amery

There is no comprehensive system of unemployment registration in Northern Rhodesia. It is thus impossible to state accurately the number of unemployed. Unemployment amongst Europeans has caused concern; but is not now considered to be particularly serious. There has been an increase in the number of Africans seeking work in urban areas since early 1958. New work permits are not being issued to Africans from outside the Federation. Other measures include increased facilities at Government employment exchanges; and the maintenance of development and capital works programmes at as high a level as possible, particularly in rural areas in the Northern and Western Provinces.

Mr. Pargiter

Is the Minister satisfied that a sufficient effort is being made to obtain diversity of employment in Northern Rhodesia instead of allowing the area to be so completely dependent on the production of copper? Is he satisfied that the Rhodesian Government are making a sufficient effort in that direction?

Mr. Amery

I am sure that they are. The difficulty is to find a market, in Northern Rhodesia or outside, for the new goods produced in the Territory.

Forward to