32. Captain MACDONALD
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in the building trade at the present time there are over 86,000 unemployed workers; whether his Department knows if any actual or anticipated housing schemes are held up in consequence of an inadequate number of workers; if so, which these are; and what steps he is taking to stimulate the transport of such labour from one district to another?
According to the last return the number of unemployed persons connected with the building trade in Great. Britain was 88,064. Of this number the total of bricklayers, slaters and plasterers was 4,063, while the great bulk, amounting to 84,001, were 2275 painters, labourers and others. I am not aware that housing schemes are being held up by a shortage of labour of which there is any material surplus elsewhere, and I do not think that any serious difficulty arises in securing the transfer of labour to areas where it is required.
§ Mr. PALING
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the total of 4,000 bricklayers and plasterers unemployed is higher than the figure at any other time during the last three years?