§ 16. Mr. Grey
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that for every 100 children leaving school there are now 571 jobs available in the London and South-East Region, and more than 1,000 jobs in the Midland region: whereas in the North-East region there are only 81 jobs available per 100 school leavers; and what steps are now being taken to provide more jobs in the North-East Region.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
Without accepting the hon. Member's figures, my right hon. Friend certainly agrees that there is a need in the North-East for more jobs for school leavers, and he will continue to do all he can to encourage further industrial development in areas of high and persistent unemployment there.
§ Mr. Grey
That reply would sound all right if it meant anything, but I do not think that it does. Is the Minister aware of the disadvantage suffered by the North-East as compared with the Midlands and the Southern Regions concerning employment for youth? Does he not agree that it is a bit cock-eyed that regions like that can have a great advantage over other regions? Will he not do more about it?
§ Mr. Macpherson
I do not think that it would be possible ever to give equal advantages to all regions. We very much realise the disadvantage under which this and other areas of high unemployment are placed, and we do our best to operate the Local Employment Act to help them.