§ Mr. KENYON
asked the Minister of Labour how many of the unemployed have been absorbed by the arterial road schemes which are actually in progress?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on the 2nd December to the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. A. T. Davies). The number of men employed on new arterial road schemes on 7th December was 2,425, and I am informed that negotiations with local authorities in respect of the additional schemes are in progress and that work on further schemes will shortly begin. The Unemployment (Relief Works) Acts, which is now law, will enable land to be obtained very expeditiously and should facilitate progress with road-work schemes, particularly in the London district. In addition to the schemes of arterial roads, financial assistance has been approved or is now under negotiation with a considerable number of local authorities for road-maintenance schemes, which are expected to absorb a substantial number of men. I would also refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I have just given to the hon. Member for the Spennymoor Division of Durham (Mr. Galbraith) regarding the arrangements made to provide employment by expediting work on road schemes and construction of sewers in connection with approved housing schemes. In addition to the schemes which I have already mentioned, loans are being sanctioned to local authorities for other forms of public works, and various local authorities have already put work in hand.