HC Deb 19 May 1931 vol 252 cc1776-7
64. Mr. TINKER

asked the Minister of Labour the unemployed figures for the United States of America and Germany in May, 1929; and what are the latest figures available?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Miss Bondfield)

As the reply is long, with my hon. Friend's permission, I will circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Is the right hon. Lady satisfied as to the authenticity of the reports which have been received; and can she say whether they are comparable with the reports of our own labour organisation?


I have explained on more than one occasion that, in some respects, the method of collecting statistics is not comparable to our own. I have pointed out the differences on many occasions.


If they are not comparable, will the right hon. Lady state the differences between the two systems?


I have done so.

Following is the reply:

The statistical authorities of the United States of America do not collect regular statistics of unemployment. The index of employment in manufacturing industries, compiled by the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics, was 99.2 in May, 1929, and 74.8 in March, 1931, the monthly average employment in manufacturing industries in the year 1926 being taken as 100. Among members of trade unions, in 24 cities, affiliated to the American Federation of Labour, 11 per cent. were reported to be unemployed in May, 1929, and 25 per cent. in April, 1931. The number of persons recorded by the German public Employment Exchanges as unemployed was 1,350,000 at the end of May, 1929 and 4,389,000 at the end of April, 1931. Among members of German trade unions reporting upon unemployment, the percentage wholly unemployed was 9.1 in May, 1929, and 33.6 in March, 1931. In addition, there were 6.8 and 18.9 per cent., respectively, on short time at the two dates.