§ Mr. Knox
The Chancellor's economic policies have resulted in a substantial reduction in unemployment during the past year. Does my right hon. Friend think that present policies will result in a similar reduction in unemployment during the next 12 months, and does he think that there is any chance that unemployment will be less than 2 million in a year's time?
§ Mr. Major
I certainly do not propose to make forecasts of the future rate of unemployment. My hon. Friend is entirely correct to point out that unemployment 444 has fallen by over half a million in the last year and 300,000 in the last six months, and today's figures again show unemployment down by 35,000. I am particularly pleased to see youth unemployment down and an especially welcome fall in the west midlands, Wales, the north-west and the north.
§ Mr. Ashley
Will the Chief Secretary bear in mind that the collapsing dollar is very greatly damaging to our export industries, especially the pottery industry? Notwithstanding what was said a moment ago about our exports, will he do what he can to strengthen the dollar in order to aid our exports?
§ Mr. McCrindle
Does my right hon. Friend perceive any danger of overheating in the economy in the months that lie ahead? Can he give the House any indication of what steps the Government have it within their power to take if that trend should develop?