HC Deb 21 June 1939 vol 348 cc2259-60W
Mr. N. Maclean

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether there is now any improvement in the conditions of the people of Newfoundland?

Sir T. Inskip

There was a reduction in May of 4,000 in the number of persons in receipt of public relief in Newfoundland, but the total was still over 80,000 compared with 57,100 in May, 1938, a poor seal-fishery and adverse climatic conditions having delayed the usual seasonal fall. Now however that the shore-fishery and the active working season on the land have opened this month, the relief figure may be expected as in past years to show a substantial reduction until the end of the summer. Conditions thereafter must depend on the results of the coming season, of which it is still, of course, too early to give an estimate, but it is my hope that, although market difficulties still persist, the new and extended measures which the Commission of Government are taking to assist the economic life of the country will contribute towards a general improvement in conditions.