HC Deb 11 December 1978 vol 960 cc9-10
11. Mr. Michael Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the growth of the civilian labour force in Wales by 1991.

Mr. John Morris

The latest projection of the future civilian labour force in Wales up to 1991 was published in the Department of Employment Gazette for September 1978. On that assessment, the labour force in Wales is estimated to increase by 179,000 between 1975 and 1991.

0Mr. Roberts

I am grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for that reply because it illustrates the problem facing us in Wales. If the pattern of redundancies over the last four years were to continue, combined with this additional civilian labour force, would he care to estimate the number of people unemployed in Wales in 10 years' time?

Mr. Morris

The hon. Gentleman must be aware, when he talks of redundancies, that, even though 90,000 redundancies have been declared in Wales since 1974, there are now 13,000 more people in jobs in Wales. That is an indication of the success of the policies of decentralisation, of attracting new industry and of Government intervention to provide jobs for our people.

Mr. loan Evans

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that the Welsh Development Agency, working with the National Enterprise Board, will play an important part in the period up to 1991 in attracting employment to Wales? Does he agree also that the additional financial assistance agreed by the Government will go a long way towards achieving that end?

Mr. Morris

My hon. Friend is right. This is why I cannot understand the hypocritical concern of some Opposition Members for the jobless, while at the same time they are loud in their cries against any additional sums of money being made available either for the NEB or the WDA.

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