HC Deb 01 November 1938 vol 340 c31
66. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Minister of Labour the number of persons unemployed; and whether the Government have any schemes in contemplation for the provision of useful work?

Mr. E. Brown

At 12th September, 1938, there were 1,798,618 unemployed persons, aged 14 and over, on the registers of Employment Exchanges in Great Britain. As regards the second part of the question, I have nothing to add to previous replies on this subject.

Mr. Davidson

Will the right hon. Gentleman try to obtain the figures taking also into account the figures of the unemployed now under unemployment assistance relief?

Mr. Brown

That is a matter between the health services and my own Department, but I should like to see the question in precise terms on the Order Paper, and then I will do my best to give what information I can.

Mr. Davidson

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that these figures added to those of the registered unemployed are the only honest figures of unemployment in the country?

Mr. Brown

That is not so. A great many of those who registered are in the figures.

Mr. Lawson

Is the Minister not aware that the situation is getting worse in many of the heavy industry areas, and that there are great numbers of men who have been out of work for many years? Cannot the Government do more in this matter?

Mr. Brown

The Government are doing a great deal. I cannot accept the hon. Member's statement that the situation is gradually getting worse. During the last two or three months there has been some improvement, although there have been some variations.

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