HC Deb 10 December 1963 vol 686 c192
17. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what factories have been constructed on the island of Malta during the past two years, how many are contemplated in the near future; how many workpeople have been employed in those completed; and how many will be employed on the completion of those under consideration.

Mr. Fisher

I am informed by the Malta Government that since January, 1962, 14 factories have been built, two are being constructed and another is planned. Future building will depend on the applications received and the availability of funds. The number of people so far employed in the completed factories is 1,266, but eventually they are expected to employ 4,500. It is estimated that applications under consideration could produce employment for a further 2,800.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Under-Secretary of State aware that, despite the improvement brought about by the new factories, which are very small indeed, there are 3,000 more unemployed men in Malta today than there were two years ago? What do the Government propose to do to help, because it is impossible for private enterprise to deal with the present situation in Malta?

Mr. Fisher

The hon. Gentleman keeps on asking the same question. Over the past five years, aid from this country to Malta has averaged £6 million a year. That is quitea lot for one island. With regard to future aid, we shall allocate such funds as we can after having the discussions with the Malta Government which we are waiting to hold. There will be no difficulty about this.

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