§ Mr. WATERSON
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the unemployment problem is very acute in Leicestershie; that Fleckney, with a population of 1,900 all told, has 120 men totally unemployed and 665 doing half a week or less; that Kibworth, with a population of 2,300, has 55 hosiery workers unemployed, all the remaining workers in the trade being on short time averaging fifteen to twenty hours per week; that this situation has existed for five months; and whether he will take steps to provide the unemployed population with remunerative work by starting the factories on full production under the control of his Department, or, alternatively, make the maintenance of the suffering workpeople a charge on the industry which has been so lucrative to the manufacturers during the War?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
I have no doubt that the figures quoted by my hon. Friend are substantially correct. I regret the state of affairs they disclose; but I am afraid I have no authority to adopt either of the remedies he suggests. Such of the workpeople in the hosiery trades as have been continuously employed, fully, or on short time, since November 8th, will shortly be eligible for benefit under the Unemployment Insurance Act. Those who are ex-service men or women, now unemployed in the locality, are entitled to out-of-work donation. As my hon. Friend is aware, a Cabinet Committee is still considering means whereby the hardships of unemployment may be mitigated.