§ 21. Mr. S. Silverman
asked the President of the Board of Trade what further consideration he has given to the placing of Nelson and Colne, and other localities forming part of the North-East Lancashire development area, upon the list of places qualified to receive assistance under the Local Employment Bill.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
My right hon. Friend has been keeping a close watch on the employment situation in these localities and is satisfied that in none of them are conditions at present such as would justify the provision of assistance under the terms of the Local Employment Bill.
§ Mr. Silverman
Would the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to look at this matter again as one of extreme urgency? Will he draw his hon. Friends attention to the fact that the figures which I gave on 23rd February were accepted as accurate by the Parliamentary Secretary himself only last night? Is he aware that they show that by 31st March there will be in Nelson and Colne alone a further 2,300 unemployed and an unknown figure for the rest of the area? Is is not the hon. Gentleman's duty under the Bill not to wait for the unemployment to happen before bringing the area within the ambit of the Local Employment Bill but to take steps where such a situation is likely shortly to happen? Will he not look at the matter again, very urgently?
§ Mr. Rodgers
As I equally pointed out in yesterday's debate, in the North-East Lancashire development area there are 4,000 jobs in prospect at the moment.