Singapore (Unemployment)

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th May 1954.

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Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central 12:00 am, 12th May 1954

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of the increasing number of unemployed in Singapore; what steps have been taken to create an unemployment fund; what system of public works has been prepared to absorb the unemployed; and what was the nature of the reply given to the Singapore Trade Union Council when they approached the Governor on this matter.

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

Figures of the number of unemployed in Singapore are not available, but there is no evidence that unemployment is widespread. The existing system of relief is considered adequate to deal with the present situation. I have asked the Governor for further information and will write to the hon. Member when I have it.

Photo of Mr Stanley Awbery Mr Stanley Awbery , Bristol Central

Is the Minister aware that the number of unemployed in Singapore is increasing considerably? Is he also aware that unemployment breeds discontent and that unemployment without assistance breeds Communism? Will the right hon. Gentleman give all the assistance he can to establish public works, because schools and clinics are needed there?

Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

I have already addressed a message to the Governor on the use of public works for relief of unemployment. As I have said, I will write to the hon. Member when I get a reply.