HC Deb 23 May 1978 vol 950 cc505-7W
Mr. Madden

asked the Secretary of State for Employment when the first two reports of the Advisory Committee on Asbestos, referred to in his reply—

average length of time that unemployed persons were continually registered as unemployed in each of the years since 1970 in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria; and what was the national average in each of these years.

Mr. Golding

The following figures show the median length of time, in weeks, spent on the unemployment register by a person still unemployed in April 1977 and 1978:

Mr. Golding

International employment statistics do not identify the separate components of the public and private sectors. Information is available for the United Kingdom, however, obtained from a special inquiry, which shows that the percentage of the employed labour force employed in the United Kingdom by the central Government—including Her Majesty's Forces—local authorities and public corporations was as follows:

June 1974 27.6
June 1975 29.2
June 1976 29.5

The rates of unemployment given below represent the annual averages of the numbers unemployed expressed as percentages of the civilian labour force. The rates for the EEC countries are not comparable, while those for the United States, Japan and Canada are comparable with each other but not with the rates quoted for the EEC countries.

Official Report, 6th March, column 508—are to be published.

Mr. John Grant

Both of these reports will be published on 1st June. Copies will be placed in the Library on that day. The first report is entitled "Work on Thermal and Acoustic Insulation and Sprayed Coatings Containing Asbestos" and the second "Measurement and Monitoring of Asbestos in Air".

I welcome the Advisory Committee's decision to submit reports on these self-contained topics in advance of its final report. The Government are grateful for the work that has gone into the production of these reports and believe that they will greatly facilitate informed discussion and consideration of ways of tackling some of the hazards associated with asbestos. We understand that the Health and Safety Commission will be inviting comments on both reports and expects, in the light of comments on the first report, to prepare proposals for regulations under the Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974, which it will submit to me after due consultation.