HC Deb 11 July 1923 vol 166 cc1370-1W

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that unemployment seems likely to continue to be serious throughout next winter, the fourth winter in succession of trade depression, he can now say what progress has been made with the preparation of further schemes of work of public utility as a better expedient than money relief for persons out of employment; whether the local municipal authorities have been invited, since the last invitation in 1922, to send up new work schemes in the financing of which the Government is prepared to assist; and what progress has already been made and is likely to be made in the near future with the several electrification schemes contemplated by the railway companies?


The arrangements made by the late Government for the grant of financial assistance to works for the relief of unemployment have been continued and expanded by the present Government. A circular was sent in May last by the Unemployment Grants Committee to local authorities, inviting them to submit proposals for schemes for next winter. A further circular on the subject has now been issued, and I am sending my right hon. Friend a copy of both circulars. Electrification schemes are in progress on the suburban lines of the Southern Railway; extensions and improvements are being carried out on the London Electric and City and South London lines; further powers for considerable extensions of the underground companies' lines are being sought by Bills of the present Session; and other railway companies are understood to be considering the question of electrification, especially in relation to the suburban areas served by them.