HC Deb 08 April 1963 vol 675 cc902-3
25. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Labour how many young people in Kent were unemployed at the latest convenient date; and what were the comparable figures in 1961 and 1962, respectively.

Mr. Hare

1,602 on 11th March, 1963; 882 in March, 1962, and 603 in March, 1961.

Mr. Dodds

In his preoccupation with the depressed areas, will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the serious deterioration which has taken place in Kent during the past few weeks, with young people staying on at school because they are unable to find work, with redundancies and with short-time working? Will he speak to the President of the Board of Trade and reconsider the policy to prevent industrial development in the South-East, which we agree was, up to a year ago or so ago, a land flowing with milk and honey but which, if it is not watched, could become a depressed area too?

Mr. Hare

The hon. Gentleman is right when he says that it is taking longer to place young people this year than it did last year, but one should note that between February and March there was a 24 per cent. fall in the number of young people unemployed in Kent. I intend to redouble my efforts to see that these young people are placed in work.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that, despite the general situation in the South, there are, particularly in the coastal towns, pockets of unemployment which is both chronic and, in some cases, even grave? Will he bear this in mind in his general approach to the question of unemployment?

Mr. Hare

Yes, I certainly will.