HC Deb 07 March 1960 vol 619 cc32-3
44. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Labour how many women were registered as unemployed at the Blackburn Employment Exchange on the latest available date.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Edward Heath)

Eight hundred and ninety-three on 15th February, 1960.

Mrs. Castle

Is the Minister of Labour aware that that is an increase of 100 over four weeks? This figure is expected to rise as the cotton reorganisation scheme comes into effect. Will he, therefore, make representations to his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade that it is quite absurd for Blackburn to be removed from the D.A.T.A.C. list, or list of areas to be helped under the Local Employment Bill, when there is this mounting problem of the unemployment of married women over 40 who need alternative work?

Mr. Heath

It is, in fact, an increase of 74 over the last four weeks, but I understand that probably about 200 more women will become unemployed as the result of further closing of the mills. On the other hand, about 400 more women have been taken into employment in the mills remaining open, and about two-thirds of the 1,200 new jobs which employers estimate will be provided in Blackburn will be for women.