asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that Kingshill No. 2 Colliery is likely to close, that in the same area 14 collieries and mines and a foundry employing 600 men have been closed since 1948, and that there is already heavy unemployment in the Cleland, Newmains, Forth, Carluke and Wishaw area; and what proposals he has for providing work for the unemployed and those who will become unemployed in this district.
Projects already secured for North Lanarkshire and Shotts are estimated to provide nearly 6,500 new jobs, and my right hon. Friend will continue to encourage new industry in this area. But he cannot undertake to provide employment specifically to replace jobs lost as a result of a particular closure in a particular place. Travel-to-work is a recognised feature of life today.
Is the Minister aware that this question does not deal with a particular closure of a particular pit? Is he aware that this area has been the worst-hit area in the whole of Britain from the point of view of loss of jobs owing to declining industries? Is he further aware that this is an area where, according to the county plan, in the next few years there will be a great increase in population? Does he realise that none of the 6,000 jobs about which he talks is situated in this area, and that for many people none of these jobs will be in what could be called a travel-to-work area?
Is the hon. Member aware that in considering this part of the County of Lanarkshire it is absurd to talk in terms of travelling to North Lanarkshire for jobs? Is he aware that there has been great neglect of the needs of this part of the county for new jobs, and will he take that fact into account in his considerations?