§ Sir CLEMENT KINLOCH-COOKE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he can give the number of trade unions in the United Kingdom and the membership of the same; and whether he can say on what ground the Board of Trade formed the opinion that the 394 trade unions reporting to the Board of Trade on the question of unemployment represents the opinion of trade unions generally throughout the United Kingdom?
The total number of trade unions in 1910 was 1,153, and their gross membership was 2,435,704. Of these 699 pay unemployment benefit of some kind or other, and the number of members eligible is about 1,500,000. The number of unions making regular monthly returns to the Board of Trade is 394, with a membership of nearly 800,000. As regards the second part of the question, the hon. Member has been misinformed, as the Board of Trade have never expressed the opinion which is attributed to them. If he will be so good as to tell me what he has in mind, I shall be happy to give him any information in my power.
§ Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE
I do not know whether I should be in order in telling you what I have in my mind.