HC Deb 24 February 1960 vol 618 cc352-3
15. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Labour how many persons were registered as unemployed at the Brixton Employment Exchange in each of the last three months.

Mr. Heath

There were 2,179 at 7th December, 1959, 2,474 at 11th January, 1960, and 2,378 at 15th February, 1960.

Mr. Lipton

I pay tribute to the valiant efforts of the right hon. Gentleman's local officials in trying to find work for as many people as possible in difficult local circumstances. Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that if a provincial town had these large figures of unemployed it would be regarded as almost a distressed area? Will he ensure that the significance of these figures is not buried in the total figures for London and the southeastern region, which tends to obscure the situation?

Mr. Heath

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is pleased that the figure is nearly 100 fewer than last month and nearly 1,000 fewer than a year ago and that the percentage is 1.1 compared with a national percentage of 2.1. Many provincial towns would be delighted if they had the same percentage.