§ Colonel CLIFTON BROWN
asked the Minister of Labour if his attention has been drawn to the almost complete closing down of the coal industry in the districts of Prudhoe and Haltwhistle, Northumberland; and if he is taking any steps to find alternative work for those in these districts?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I understand that although the collieries in the Prudhoe district have been affected by the general depression, the Majority of mine workers— approximately about two-thirds of the whole—are still in employment; about 150 of the workers who have been thrown out of employment in that area in the past 12 months have found colliery employment in other areas. I am informed that employment in other trades in the locality is good. As regards Halt-whistle, I regret to say that the mining industry—which is the predominant industry in the area—is suffering from very severe depression. My hon. and gallant Friend may rest assured that my Department is doing, and will continue to do, everything possible to place in employment locally or in other districts the workers who have been thrown out of employment in these areas. He is no doubt aware that the facilities for assisting unemployed workers under the Industrial Transference Scheme are available for workpeople from Prudhoe and Haltwhistle. Eighteen married men from Haltwhistle have been assisted under the household removal scheme to transfer, with their families, to employment in other districts, and in addition 73 married and single men, the Majority of whom are colliery workers, have found work or have been placed in employment outside the Haltwhistle area Since July, 1931. Since March, 1931, 38 men have been given courses of instruction in training centres under the Government training schemes. As regards the Prudhoe area, 13 persons have gone forward for training courses Since 1st January, 1933.