§ 24. Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Minister of Labour what is the entire number of skilled and unskilled workers employed in all the industries which enjoy the benefit of the McKenna Duties; and whether he will give the number of unemployed in the same trades?
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Mr. Thomas Shaw)
As was stated in a reply given by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury on 12th May, it has been estimated that the number of workpeople engaged in the branches of trade affected directly or indirectly by these duties would not exceed 200,000, and may be considerably less. As the classification of trades for which the statistics of unemployment are compiled does not show separately the branches of trade affected by the duties, I regret that it is not possible to give any reliable figure for the numbers unemployed.
§ Mr. SOMERVILLE
Is it not a fact that a large number of these men and their wives are wearing mourning to-day?
§ Sir HARRY BRITTAIN
Will the right hon. Gentleman do all he can to make provision now for the men who will be thrown out of work in these trades during the next three months? He will want it.
31. Sir F. HALL
asked the Minister of Labour the number of persons employed in the motor industry in this country in 1914; and what is the number employed at the present time?
§ Mr. SHAW
There are no statistics showing separately the number of persons employed in motor car construction either now or in 1914. I gave the hon. 1325 and gallant Member on 7th May the available figures for July, 1923, which is that in respect of a group of trades covering the construction and repair of motor cars, motor lorries, motor omnibuses, motor cycles, pedal cycles and aircraft, but there are no comparable statistics for a pre-War date.
Sir F. HALL
If there are no comparable statistics of pre-War date, how is it the Chancellor of the Exchequer was able to deny the correctness of the figures given by hon. Members on this side yesterday?
§ Sir H. BRITTAIN
Will the right hon. Gentleman endeavour to get these statistics, because they may be rather illuminating in the next few months?
Sir F. HALL
Is the right hon. Gentleman not hiding himself under that, and has he not found it convenient—
§ 39. Mr. LORIMER
asked the Minister of Labour the nature of the scheme to absorb the workmen in Long Eaton and district who will be rendered out of work by the abolition of the McKenna Duties?
§ Mr. LORIMER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, had I been allowed to take part in the Debate yesterday, I should have dealt with the points raised in the question, but that there was no time because the Debate was prolonged by the interminable length of the speech of his right hon. Friend?
§ 65. Captain BRASS
asked the Minister of Labour what steps are being taken by 1326 his Department to deal with, or collect information as to, men who have been or are being discharged, or put on short time, by manufacturers of motor cars in view of the lapsing of the McKenna Duties; whether any instructions have been issued to Employment Exchanges by circular letter or otherwise instructing them to obtain data, or to approach the manufacturers with reference to this matter; and, if so, what are the exact terms of the instructions?
§ Mr. SHAW
In connection with the usual monthly meeting of the Divisional Controllers of the Department held last week, the Controllers were asked to bring with them any information they might have on this matter, and in consequence some inquiries were made locally at certain Exchanges. Beyond this, no special instructions have been issued for the collection of information. The Department will watch carefully the developments which will take place.
§ Captain BRASS
Has the right hon. Gentleman made any representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer so as to receive the necessary money for the doles which will ensue?
§ Sir H. BRITTAIN
In view of the importance of these statistics, will the right hon. Gentleman make inquiries as to what exactly the cost will be for obtaining the information in full?
§ Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is estimated that, as a result of yesterday's vote, the cost will be an additional £7,000,000?