HC Deb 11 December 1968 vol 775 cc411-2
33. Mr. Dalyell

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to provide suitable jobs for miners made redundant by the closure of Riddochhill Colliery, West Lothian.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

It is expected that the majority of men affected by the closure of Riddochhill Colliery will be offered jobs in other pits within reasonable daily travel to work distance. It is hoped that others of the men displaced will find jobs in the many expanding industries which have set up in West Lothian in recent years. The Board of Trade will continue to use its powers under the Local Employment Acts, 1960 to 1966, and the Industrial Development Act, 1966, to encourage existing industry to expand and new industry to establish there.

Mr. Dalyell

How does the Board of Trade define the term, "reasonable daily travel to work distance"?

Mrs. Dunwoody

This is a difficult problem and I am not pretending that it is easy to say to a man who has always worked and lived in the same village, "You must travel some distance to find a job". My hon. Friend will accept, however, that if we are to establish successful alternative industries, we must do that in new modern premises where industrialists will wish to develop. This is bound to lead to a certain amount of travelling.

Sir C. Osborne

Were not these miners promised full employment by the Labour Party? Why have those promises been broken?

Mrs. Dunwoody

The miners are well aware that the Government are very concerned about their future. The hon. Gentleman might care to remember that when the Leader of the Opposition talks about the shibboleth of regional policy, he is not concerning himself with either the future of Scottish miners or anybody else in Scotland.