§ 13. Dr. Stross
asked the Minister of Labour how many workers employed in building operations are now unemployed or on short-time in Stoke-on-Trent.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
Four hundred and twenty-four at 11th February, including five registered as temporarily stopped. Statistics of short-time working are not available for the building industry.
§ Dr. Stross
Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that this is a fairly recent and deplorable phenomenon? Is he further aware that it is feared that it will tend to get worse, for the local authority now finds itself incapable of building anything like the number of houses that it used to build? Will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence with his colleagues the Minister of Housing and Local Government and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and point out that municipal housing is being destroyed in many areas like this as a result of policies in the past?
§ Mr. Macleod
It is, of course, true that in all areas there is in the building trade a seasonal slackening at this time which must be taken into account when reviewing these figures, but I should be very happy to look at the special problems of Stoke-on-Trent, in view of the hon. Member's Question, and to discuss them with my right hon. Friends if necessary.