HC Deb 02 November 1959 vol 612 c649
15. Mr. Fernyhough

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the high rate of unemployment in Jarrow and Hebburn; and what steps he is taking to provide jobs for those now without them.

Mr. Heath

Yes, Sir. My local officers do all they can to find vacancies for unemployed people, and my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade is doing everything possible to interest industrialists in the area, which qualifies for assistance under the Distribution of Industry Act, 1958.

Mr. Fernyhough

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all their efforts seem to be unavailing, and that Jarrow and Hebburn have an unemployment rate of approximately three or four times the national average? Can we expect him to be more successful at the Ministry of Labour in dealing with this problem than was his predecessor?

Mr. Heath

This is an intractable problem with which the President of the Board of Trade will have greater powers to deal under the new Bill which the Government are introducing. The hon. Member knows the particular problems of this area which have been exacerbated by the recession in the shipping industry.