HC Deb 02 May 1928 vol 216 cc1705-6
31. Mr. MALONE

asked the Minister of Labour the latest figures showing the numbers of persons employed in the artificial silk industry; and if he has any statistics to show to what extent the artificial silk industry is absorbing unemployed persons from the cotton industry?


Separate statistics in respect of the artificial silk industry are not available, but at July, 1927, there were in Great Britain 53,553 persons aged 16 to 64, inclusive, insured under the Unemployment Insurance Acts who were classified as belonging to the silk and artificial silk industries taken together. At 26th March, 1928, 3,097 such persons were recorded as unemployed. Statistics are not available as to the extent to which workers have transferred from the cotton industry to the artificial silk industry.


Can the hon. Gentleman give any information as to the districts where the unemployed artificial silk workers are?


Certainly not without notice. I am not sure that I could with notice, but I will ascertain if I can, and I will tell the hon. Member.


Will the hon. Gentleman tell us how they are classified? Is it in the production of artificial silk or in the using up of artificial silk and making it into fabric? Are they classed together, or are they separate?


I will send the hon. Member a copy of the appropriate number of the "Labour Gazette" which shows under which classification these workers are placed. There are a variety of headings, and the hon. Member had better see it.


Does not the hon. Gentleman think that the artificial silk industry is an industry important enough to require a separate classification, and will he proceed as soon as possible to arrange for one?


I will consider that with my adviser in the Department.

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