HC Deb 01 July 1971 vol 820 cc566-7
15. Mr. Molloy

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if, in view of the increase in industrial redundancies in the Middlesex area, including Ealing and Hillingdon, he will consider holding a conference between officials of his Department and employers and trade union representatives within the area.

Mr. Dudley Smith

Local employment committees throughout the country are appointed to advise my right hon. Friend. They meet regularly to discuss local employment matters and there are such committees covering the area concerned. Their members include employers and trade unionists and officials of my Department also attend.

Mr. Molloy

The reply has nothing whatever to do with the Question. Does the hon. Gentleman realise that it is no comfort to people in my constituency, who because of Tory policies have seen unemployment rapidly increase, to be told that there are not so many unemployed in the Greater London area as elsewhere? Does he not appreciate that it is a disaster in a family when the breadwinner becomes unemployed? Will he withdraw his inane reply and give me a proper reply—a reply to which the unemployed in my constituency are entitled? If he cannot do so, will he not have the courage to resign?

Mr. Smith

I will not resign, nor will I give a different reply from that which I have just given the hon. Gentleman which meets the circumstances of the hon. Gentleman's Question. The hon. Gentleman asked whether we would consider holding a conference. We believe that the work done by the local employment committees, on which all sectors of industry are represented, can adequately convey to us the feelings which are paramount in the hon. Gentleman's area. The hon. Gentleman should not exaggerate his case. He well knows that, although at the moment unemployment is a serious problem, the situation is a lot better in his part of the country than elsewhere.

Mr. Molloy

Could we be told what is "better unemployment"?