The Special Areas Sir George Gillett's first report on the
Special Areas contains many facts that make an encouraging contrast to the picture which Sir Malcolm Stewart drew in 1936. The areas still contain more than 200,000 workless, and So,000 of these are over 45 years of age and thus to be classed as mainly unemployable. There has been improvement in all districts, and particularly in South Wales, where a reduction of 3o per cent. in the unemployed is recorded. The general reduction is just over 25 per cent. Five districts are in the blackest list, with over 4o per cent. out of work. In 1936 there were eighteen such places. The Commissioner is of opinion that the improvement can be regarded as general, and not chiefly caused by either emigra- tion or rearmament. A year ago the figures concerning the building of new factories in the areas made a dismal record. They are now better, and the lighter industries, providing work for women as well as men, make an improved showing. Sir George Gillett urges the continuance of the municipal services and a more vigorous attack upon the shocking debris of cleared factory sites, while he lays emphasis upon the Government's responsibility in the difficult matter of the location of industry.