HC Deb 12 November 1970 vol 806 cc579-80
4. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what steps he is taking to assist the unemployed in Midlothian to gain further employment.

The Under-Secretary of State for Employment (Mr. Dudley Smith)

Our local officers are continuing to do all they can to help unemployed workers in Midlothian to find new jobs. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry also draws to the attention of suitable firms the possibility of opening up in the area. The measures we announced on 27th October should encourage expansion and new employment in the development areas.

Mr. Eadie

But is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is great concern in my constituency because job closures do not match job replacements? Is he further aware that the contraction of the paper and coal-mining industries is causing great anxiety because there are not enough replacement jobs? In the light of this situation, what does he propose to do?

Mr. Smith

We all share the concern of the hon. Gentleman's constituents, but I would ask him to cast his mind back to the policies of the previous Government which pumped large sums of money into the development areas without a commensurate increase in the number of jobs. The measures which we announced on 27th October will go quite a long way to improve the situation.