HC Deb 16 July 1970 vol 803 cc1703-4
11. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity how many building workers are registered as unemployed in the London area.

Mr. Dudley Smith

At 8th June there were 8,451 persons registered as unemployed in the Greater London area who last worked in construction, which covers building, civil engineering and other allied activities. Separate figures for building workers are not available.

Mr. Lipton

Is it not ridiculous, with such a desperate housing need in London, that all these thousands of men should be unemployed? In addition to the expected announcement that the matter is under solemn review, what will the Minister do about it?

Mr. Smith

The first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question should have been addressed to his own Front Bench. His Question was about the London area, and I can tell him that the unemployment rate in the construction industry in the London area is only about half what it is in the rest of the country. This matter is receiving our attention.

Mr. Heffer

As the hon. Gentleman and I were making rather similar proposals to my Front Bench, now that his hon. Friends have the control of the country what will they do about some of those proposals?

Mr. Smith

If the hon. Member will just give us a little time, he will see.