21. Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON
asked the Minister of Labour the numbers of unemployed in the motor trade at the present time and for the corresponding period last year?
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Mr. Shaw)
The number of persons engaged in the construction and repair of motor cars, motor lorries, motor omnibuses, motor cycles, cycles and aircraft registered as unemployed at Employment Exchanges in Great Britain on 22nd September, 1924, was 21,475 as compared with 23,532 on 24th September, 1923.
Does the Minister consider that taking off the McKenna Duties has increased, and not decreased, employment?
§ Sir HENRY CROFT
Before the right hon. Gentleman replies, may I ask is it not a fact that some 3,000 of these people are now employed in driving Ford cars?
§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
Is it not a fact that a very large number of skilled mechanics have emigrated?
§ 22. Sir KINGSLEY WOOD
asked the Minister of Labour the increase in the number of unemployed during the last three months?
§ 26. Lieut. - Colonel HOWARD - BURY
asked the Minister of Labour by how much the unemployment figures in this country have increased since the repeal of the McKenna Duties?
§ Mr. SHAW
The number of persons on the registers of Employment Exchanges in Great Britain at 29th September, 1924, was 1,198,800, compared with 1,009,444 at 30th June, and 1,048,261 at 28th July. I am not aware of any evidence that any part of this increase is due to the repeal of the McKenna Duties, but I take this opportunity of pointing out that a substantial part of the increase is not a real increase in unemployment but is due to administrative and legislative changes in the Unemployment Insurance Schemes which have brought on the registers unemployed persons who previously, not being entitled to benefit, would not have registered. Rather less than half the increase of 150,539 since the end of July is due to an effect of the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1st August in bringing on the registers for the first time certain classes of unemployed persons, particularly those out of work owing to a trade dispute at their place of employment and those unemployed for short or uncertain periods. 498 The withdrawal in February last of certain administrative restrictions on the grant of uncovenanted benefit had a similar effect in increasing the numbers counted as unemployed as compared with the figures prior to that date, but I am unable at present to give an estimate of the precise extent of this increase.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Is it not a fact that these unemployment figures have been increasing week by week during the last three months, and that the week ending 29th September there was an increase of 18,000?
§ Lieut.-Colonel HOWARD-BURY
Is it not a fact that since the repeal of the McKenna Duties and the lapsing of the Safeguarding of Industries Act—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"]—the unemployment figures—
§ Mr. B. SMITH
Is it a fact that a daily paper, with its usual veracity, cites the figures to be this morning 1,900,000 unemployed—I refer to the "Daily Mail"?
§ 23. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the Minister of Labour the present number of unemployed persons, men, women, and young persons, respectively, and the number working on consistent short time?
§ Mr. SHAW
At 29th September the numbers oil the registers of Employment Exchanges in Great Britain, including those on short time and not at work on that date, were 903,700 men, 223,900 women, 37,700 boys, and 33,500 girls. The only available figure that can be given separately for those on short time is that for persons recorded as being on systematic short time, namely, 21,100 men, 12,000 women, and 2,600 boys and girls. In accordance with the practice adopted from last March and onwards, these figures for systematic short time are included in those just given for the numbers on the 499 registers; but I may point out that in the figures published prior to March, those for the live registers did not include the numbers on systematic short time, which were published separately.
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Is it or is it not the fact that there are more persons unemployed to-day than when the Government took office?
§ Captain Viscount CURZON
How many of this huge army of unemployed may expect to secure work during the winter under the proposals initiated by the present Government?
§ Captain TERRELL
Has the Minister of Labour any evidence to show that a single unemployed person has been offered work since the Labour Government have been in office?