asked the Secretary of State for Scotland at what places conferences have been held with the Scottish local authorities with a view to expediting unemployment relief schemes; who were represented at these conferences; and what progress has been made as a result of the conferences in expediting the carrying out of local unemployment relief schemes in Scotland?
Representatives of Scottish County and Town Councils were present at the Unemployment Conference addressed by the Prime Minister in London on the 17th June last. On the 5th July my right hon. Friend, in conjunction with the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and myself, held a conference in Edinburgh which was attended by representatives of a very large number of county and town councils. As regards the last part of the question, in the period from 1st July, 1930, to 31st October, 1930, 122 Scottish schemes involving expenditure of approximately £866,000 were approved for grant purposes by the Unemployment Grants Committee. In addition to the general conferences officials of my right hon. Friend's Departments have visited numerous centres for the purpose of stimulating the submission of employment schemes by local authorities.
Can the hon. Member say whether, as a result of these conferences steps have been taken to short circuit the procedure, and thus to enable other schemes to be dealt with?
We now have a committee sitting in Edinburgh to deal in the first instance with all these schemes, in order to expedite matters.
Can the hon. Member say how many unemployed men may be employed as a result of these schemes?
I can give that information if the hon. Member will put down a question.
Have the committee the power to approve or only to recommend?
They recommend to London; it is a mere matter of 12 or 24 hours.
Does that mean that the applications still have to go to London, or are they dealt with in Edinburgh?
Finally, they all come to London, but it is only a matter of 24 hours.