Unemployment (Necessitous Areas).

Oral Answers to Questions — Peace Treaties. – in the House of Commons on 25th July 1922.

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Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON:

49.

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the Government's refusal to accept the definition of a necessitous area for the purposes of a special grant recently submitted on behalf of certain local authorities, he will state what further steps the Government propose to take to prevent the bankruptcy of these necessitous areas, due to increasing unemployment, and to whom the relief afforded by the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act is quite inadequate?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

As at present advised, I have no reason to suppose that the needs of the situation are not adequately met by the arrangements under which local authorities can, with my sanction, contract loans to carry them over the present difficult times, the Government itself lending in certain cases of exceptional stress. I might add that the hon. Member's suggestion that unemployment is increasing is incorrect. The amount of unemployment has fortunately been steadily decreasing since the beginning of the year.

Mr. THOMSON:

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, although the total amount of unemployment is decreasing, in certain industrial areas it is increasing steadily, and is nothing to be done before the House rises to meet the problem which will arise there in the autumn?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

The problem arising in the autumn cannot be dealt with at present.