HC Deb 18 November 1963 vol 684 cc605-6
9. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Labour what was the average number of persons unemployed in Coatbridge and Airdrie and North Lanarkshire, respectively, during the current year; and what proposals he has to offer employment to these people.

Mr. Whitelaw

The figures are 1,467 and 12,543, respectively. These areas will benefit from the comprehensive Programme for Development and Growth in Central Scotland which has been presented by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mr. Dempsey

Does the Minister realise that what he is saying is that these figures are shameful in relation to the number of unemployed in the county? Does not he realise that we have been hearing this same explanation for the past four years? Is not it time that he appreciated that.these new proposals only trifle with the problem and additional jobs are needed in order to break the back of this unemployment problem? What does he propose to do about it?

Mr. Whitelaw

The hon. Gentleman would appreciate that that is exactly the purpose of the Government's plan, to increase the number of jobs in the long-term. In the short-term, the hon. Gentleman must take account of the things which have been done and the jobs which have been provided. In addition to the building of a Government training centre at Motherwell, which was opened a week or two ago by my right hon. Friend, three advance factories are under construction now in North Lanarkshire and there is to be a new industrial estate at Bellshill.