§ 66. Mr. Awbery
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many tin mines have been closed down in Malaya during the past three months; and what steps are being taken to provide for the men who are thrown out of employment.
§ Mr. Hopkinson
Forty-six mines have been closed, involving 1,605 workers. Most of these mines were speculative concerns floated when tin prices were high and employing casual labour. Some of the workers displaced are being paid a retention fee by the mine owners, and others have taken up mining for themselves or have been reabsorbed into other occupations such as agriculture.
No serious unemployment and no real distress exists, but the Government of the Federation of Malaya are watching the situation closely and, as my right hon. Friend told the hon. Member on 22nd April, they have plans to provide as much productive work as possible if serious unemployment develops.