HC Deb 08 April 1963 vol 675 cc895-6
11. Mr. D. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour how many men and women were registering as unemployed at Maltby and Dinnington employment exchanges at the end of February 1963.

Mr. Whitelaw

Figures are available only for the day of the count of those unemployed. On 11th March, 1963, 280 men and 142 women were registered as unemployed at Maltby and 144 men and 21 women at Dinnington.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the local authorities have repeatedly made every endeavour to get light industries to come into these areas? Is he aware that the two areas are basically occupied with mining and naturally there are difficulties in finding work for women? Could the hon. Gentleman's Department assist the local authorities to obtain light industries particularly in order to help the women?

Mr. Whitelaw

The hon. Member knows that the question of bringing light industries to an area is one for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. Nevertheless, I have noted what he has said, and I assure him that my right hon. Friend will also note it.

Mr. Mendelson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that only the figures of people counted on a particular day are returned to his Department, which hides a great deal of serious short-time working in south Yorkshire? Is he aware that in the Sheffield area, which covers the industrial centre of Stocksbridge and Chapel-town, 10,000 are estimated to be either fully unemployed or on short-time, whereas the official figures given by him are much lower? Would the hon. Gentleman therefore not be complacent and not think that the situation in south Yorkshire is not a very serious one?

Mr. Whitelaw

I assure the hon. Member that I am certainly not in any way complacent.