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West Fife Central Area

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1962

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asked the Minister of Labour how many adult males are currently unemployed in the West Fife central area covering the Cowdenbeath Employment Exchange area; how many vacancies exist; and how many jobs for such men are in prospect in the next year.

On 12th February, 1962, 775 adult males were registered as unemployed at the Dunfermline, Cowdenbeath, Inverkeithing, and Burntisland Employment Exchanges. One hundred and eleven vacancies for men were outstanding on 7th February. About 300 jobs for men are estimated to be in prospect for this area, but it is not possible to say with accuracy how many will materialise in the next year.

Does not the hon. Gentleman recognise the seriousness of the situation? Does he recognise that it will get very much worse in the next three or four years, even assuming that all the jobs which he says are in the pipeline materialise? Can he give us one shred of evidence to show that the Government are tackling the problem with sufficient energy and drive so that these men will get work in the area instead of going to the Midlands and the South-East to get it?

The whole area is a development district. The estimated number of new jobs in prospect refers only to those which are expected to arise from industrial development certificates. There are other projects not requiring that action.

It would be most unwise to start saying with accuracy how many jobs will thus be available. It would be very misleading, and I do not think I should do it.