HC Deb 19 October 1920 vol 133 cc754-5
19. Mr. CLOUGH

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the latest Returns of the trade of the country, indicating those main industries wherein there has been a falling off, and also the number of unemployed as compared with six months and twelve months previously?


The answer to this question is necessarily long and involves a number of figures. I shall be obliged, therefore, if I may be permitted to publish the reply in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The following is the reply referred to:

The most recent records of the foreign trade of the United Kingdom are those for the month of September, the figures for which compare as follows with those for the period January to August:—

Value, Sept., 1920. Monthly Average, Jan—Aug., 1920.
£ £
Total Imports 152,692,339 168,620,549
Exports of United Kingdom Produce. 117,455,913 111,227,765
Re-exports of Foreign and Colonial Produce. 13,350,608 20,888,484

Returns showing the aggregate internal trade of the country are not available. Details of the foreign trade for September are given in the House of Commons Paper No. 25, viii, which was issued on the 8th October, and I am sending a copy to my hon. Friend.

Value, Sept., 1920. (1) Monthly Average, Jan-Aug., 1920. (2) Col. (1) less than Col. (2) (3)
£ £ Per cent.
Non-ferrous metals and manufactures thereof 1,962,970 2,253,977 12.9
Woollen and worsted yarn and manufactures 10,886,564 11,844,756 8.1
Silk and silk manufactures 432,134 463,894 6.8
Manufactures of textile materials other than cotton, wool and silk. 3,642,638 3,974,383 8.3
Oils, fats, and resins, manufactured 865,149 1,302,656 33.6
Leather and manufactures thereof 695,751 1,113,831 37.5
Rubber manufactures 926,668 993,635 6.7

As regards unemployment, figures are not available showing the total number of persons unemployed in the United Kingdom, but an indication of the trend of unemployment may be obtained from the statistics of unemployment among persons in trades insured against unemployment under the Acts of 1911 and 1916, and also among trade union members. In the industries in which workpeople are insured against unemployment, the percentage unemployed at 1st October, 1920, was 3.80, compared with 3.63 at 26th March, 1920, and 3.37 at 10th October last year. The percentage unemployed of members of certain trade unions (mainly of skilled workers) which make returns to the Ministry of Labour, was 2.2 at 1st October, 1920, compared with 1.1 at 1st April,1920, and 1.6 at 1st October, 1919.


Is it not a fact that the increased unemployment is due to the appeal of the leaders of the Labour party to increase production?


The hon. and gallant Member had better wait until he has seen my reply.