HC Deb 01 April 1963 vol 675 cc31-2
47. Mr. McKay

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that his Department's Special Press Notice on Unemployment for mid-March, 1963, states that the number of unemployed was 701,930, equal to 3.1 per cent., and that in the northern region the figure is 60 per cent.; and what action he has taken this month.

Mr. Hare

I am, of course, well aware of the figures. As the hon. Member knows, a series of measures have already been and will continue to be taken by the Government to reduce unemployment both in the Northern Region and in the rest of the country.

Mr. McKay

Is the Minister aware that if a figure of 6 per cent, prevailed throughout the country there would be about 1½ million unemployed, and that the situation in the North-East must, of necessity, be very bad? One wonders how it is that after there being for a fair length of time a special representative in the North, things are not getting any better but are getting worse. What does he intend to do about the new representative he has put there?

Mr. Hare

The situation in the North-East is, of course, very serious. I am glad to see, however, that last month's unemployment figures there were rather better than those for February. That does not mean that there is not a grave situation there which the Government are determined to improve. A great deal is being done. As hon. Members have the information, I will not enumerate the large number of special measures that have already been taken to give special priority to the North-East and to other areas of very heavy unemployment.

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