HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc25-6
51. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Minister of Labour how many coal mining jobs have been lost in Fife since 1960; how many new jobs have been provided in the same period; and how many of those jobs were for males and females, respectively.

Mr. Thornton

The number of mineworkers in the County of Fife fell from 19,760 at the end of 1960 to 13,050 at 5th February, 1966. This takes account of transfers to new jobs within the coalmining industry. As regards other industry, during the period April, 1960, to the beginning of this year, 29 firms set up factories in Fife and were by November, 1965, employing 2,600 workers, of whom 1,100 were males.

Mr. Hamilton

Does my hon. Friend recognise that these figures represent a very unsatisfactory state of affairs? What is the good of losing 6,000-odd male jobs and getting fewer than 1,000 male jobs in return? Will my hon. Friend undertake to discuss with the President of the Board of Trade the desirability or the practicability of additional financial incentives to attract to these areas firms which predominantly employ male employees?

Mr. Thornton

I would point out to my hon. Friend that expanding collieries in the Fife and Clackmannan coalfields will need 3,300 more miners by 1971 and that the Board of Trade estimates that about 3,000 jobs for males are likely to arise in the whole of the Fife coalfield during the next four years.