HC Deb 01 July 1937 vol 325 cc2125-6
5. Mr. Lyons

asked the Minister of Labour the approximate upswing of wages for the year ended 31st May, 1937?

Mr. E. Brown

In those industries for which statistics are regularly compiled, the changes in rates of wages reported to my Department during the year ending 31st May, 1937, are estimated to have resulted in a net increase of nearly £600,000 a week in the full-time weekly rates of wages of about 4,250,000 work-people, and in a net decrease of about £1,200 a week in the weekly full-time rates of wages of about 25,000 work-people. These statistics are exclusive of changes in the rates of wages of agricultural labourers, domestic servants, shop assistants, clerks and Government employés, and they relate in the main to changes collectively arranged between organised groups of employers and work-people. It is estimated that in the industries for which information is available, the average level of full-time weekly rates of wages rose by nearly 3½ per cent. during this period.

Mr. Lyons

Can my right hon. Friend say whether these figures constitute a record upswing of wages for the whole time the figures have been kept by the Department under any Government?

Mr. Brown

I should like to verify that.

Mr. Paling

In view of the fact that wages have increased by only 3½ per cent., and the cost of living has increased by over 10 per cent., will it not take a long time to make up the leeway?

Mr. Brown

I would point out to the hon. Member that 10 per cent. is an incorrect figure.

Mr. Lawson

Is not that good work for trade unions?

Mr. Brown

It is certainly very good work for the employers and trade unions, and for the Government, which made the atmosphere possible.