HC Deb 30 March 1939 vol 345 cc2185-6
1. Mr. Day

asked the Minister of Labour the latest information in his possession as to what extent unemployment at present obtains among the workers in France, Germany and Italy?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)

In France, the number of persons registered at employment exchanges as applicants for work at 18th March, 1939, was 443,061. In Germany, the latest official statistics relate to the end of February, 1939, when the number of persons reported by the employment exchanges as unemployed in Greater Germany (including Austria and the incorporated Sudeten areas) was 455,621. Both as regards France and Germany the figures given are not strictly comparable with those for this country, as they are compiled on a different basis. No statistics are published relating to the numbers unemployed in Italy.

Mr. Day

At what intervals are the figures got out by those countries?

Mr. Brown

I could not give that information without notice.

Mr. H. G. Williams

Are not such figures published in the Ministry of Labour Gazette?

Mr. Brown

We do give figures, but I would not like to say on what basis they have been compiled.

Mr. Lawson

Do the figures include people in concentration camps?

Mr. Brown

They only include persons reported to the employment exchanges.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not a fact that Italy is sending a very large number of men into Germany to help carry on agriculture?

Mr. Brown

That is another question, although I have seen reports to that effect.