HC Deb 08 July 1963 vol 680 cc848-9
18. Miss Herbison

asked the Minister of Labour what was the insured population in the area covered by Shotts Employment Exchange in the month of June in each of the years 1951, 1961 and 1963.

Mr. Whitelaw

The estimated number of employees was 9,443 in 1951 and 6,544 in 1961; I regret that the figure for 1963 is not yet available.

Miss Herbison

Surely the Minister must agree from the two figures which have been given that there has been a great fall in the number of insured workers in this area? Is he also aware that this is due to the fact that every colliery in the area has closed and that 12 years of the Tory Government have failed to provide employment in their own area for people who would like to live in an area which is famed in Scotland for its community spirit and its worth-while ness?

Mr. Whitelaw

From close personal interest in and knowledge of the area I can certainly agree with the last point which the hon. Lady made. She referred to the fall in the number employed. It is fair to remember that nearly two-thirds of this has taken place in coal mining, where there have been special difficulties, ft is also fair to give credit where it is due in this matter—and that is to the National Coal Board. For example, since 1962 530 miners of the 839 affected by closures have been found work elsewhere.