HC Deb 30 July 1962 vol 664 cc27-8
48. Mr. Ridley

asked the Minister of Labour if he will take steps to provide resettlement grants to cover travelling, removal, out-of-pocket and family expenses for unemployed persons moving to new employment.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. William Whitelaw)

Yes, Sir. This has already been done. Unemployed persons who live in areas of relatively high unemployment are assisted under the Resettlement Transfer Scheme to take up work away from home. My right hon. Friend is arranging to extend these facilities to unemployed persons living elsewhere who cannot get suitable work in their home areas.

Mr. Ridley

May I congratulate my hon. Friend on emerging from his chrysalis of silence and also thank him for that reply? May I ask him whether he is aware that under the Common Market 50 per cent. of money spent on this sort of thing is recoverable from the Commission? Does not he think that it is time we had a full-blooded policy to encourage the mobility of labour now?

Mr. Whitelaw

I hope my hon. Friend will accept this and realise that At is a necessary and welcome step in the right direction.

Mr. Prentice

May I also congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his new appointment and ask him especially whether he will look at the publicity given to this grant, because the use made of the existing Ministry grant is very small and this could play a bigger part in the mobility of labour?

Mr. Whitelaw

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for what he said. I should point out that posters will be displayed in every employment exchange and the scheme will be brought to the notice of unemployed persons who are willing to consider jobs in other areas.