asked the Minister of Labour how many men described as coke-men in the Easington Parliamentary area have been made redundant in recent months and to what extent, when offered work elsewhere, they are provided with financial assistance to enable them to meet expenses.
Three hundred and ninety-eight men have been displaced since May last from the Horden and Shotton coking plants. It is not known how many of them live in the Easington Parliamentary division. I understand that all of them have been offered alternative employment by the National Coal Board which has provided special transport at a charge of 6s. 0d. weekly for those now working at the Fishburn and Trimdon plants. Men who refused the alternative employment and cannot obtain other local work may benefit from my Department's temporary transfer scheme if they accept jobs beyond daily travelling distance of their homes.
Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the matter again because, according to my information, a large number of men who have been disemployed have not been able to find alternative employment and this is rather a serious matter?
I shall certainly look into the matter again. The figures are as I gave them in my main Answer. The other figures are that forty of the men concerned refused the offer of alternative employment and twenty-two of those were registered in Easington and the other areas, so the vast majority have obtained work. If the right hon. Member thinks my figures are in dispute, of course I shall look at them again.