HC Deb 03 March 1960 vol 618 cc1401-2
17. Mr. Randall

asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent he took into account jobs in prospect in not deciding to include Gateshead and district in the list of places for assistance under the local employment areas.

Mr. J. Rodgers

The future prospects, insofar as these can be foreseen, were taken into account together with other relevant considerations before the Board of Trade reached its decision.

Mr. Randall

The hon. Gentleman does not give the figures. Is he aware that in the North East there is growing concern because of the high and persistent unemployment, that in the south-west Tyneside area there is an unemployment figure now rising to 3,102, and that in respect of the men there is now 4.8 per cent. unemployment? In view of his statement the other evening in the debate that the list can be added to overnight, may I expect that this area will be added to the list tomorrow morning?

Mr. Rodgers

There is no clear evidence yet that there will be major redundancies sufficient to raise the rate of unemployment to the figure on which we are operating, 4.5 per cent. If it does get to that stage we will, of course, reconsider it.

Mr. Jay

If more big industrial expansions come along, is not there a case for one of them going to the North East Coast?

Dame Irene Ward

Hear, hear.

Mr. Rodgers

I agree. I am disappointed that we have not been able to steer one of the large expansions to the North East.