§ 20. Mr. Brewis
asked the President of the Board of Trade why, in view of the heavy and imminent unemployment there, he has excluded Dalbeattie from the places eligible for assistance under the Local Employment Bill.
§ Mr. J. Rodgers
The Castle Douglas exchange area, of which Dalbeattie is a part, is not a locality in which, in the opinion of the Board of Trade, a high rate of unemployment exists or is expected and is likely to persist. This is the statutory requirement by which the Board will be bound. But my right hon. Friend will watch the position closely, as he realises it is not without danger.
§ Mr. Brewis
My Question refers to the Borough of Dalbeattie and not to the employment exchange area of Castle Douglas. One is industrial and the other agricultural. Will my hon. Friend also take into account not only long-term unemployment in Dalbeattie but also the imminence of future unemployment owing to a closing down of construction works at Chapelcross and also the possible closing down of a textile factory.
§ Mr. Rodgers
Certainly we will keep a very close watch on the position in that area. We are operating, as we have said throughout the debates on the Local Employment Bill, on the employment 1405 exchange areas. Any change in those would be a matter for the Secretary of State for Scotland rather than for me.