HC Deb 26 November 1946 vol 430 cc1389-90
13. Mr. Spence

asked the Minister of Labour how many unemployed workers there are in Scotland in the shipbuilding industry.

Mr. Isaacs

3,706 at 14th October, the latest date for which figures are available.

Mr. Spence

Is the Minister aware that these men are unemployed because of the shortage of raw materials, including sheet steel, and will he say what are the representations he has made to the other Ministers to see that their export is restricted in order to provide employment?

Mr. Isaacs

We are aware that this and some other unemployment is due to shortage of raw materials, but the matter is actively being pursued between the Ministers concerned in an effort to find a remedy.

Captain Crookshank

As in the case of Question No. 8, is this count taken on Monday, and if so why is the same excuse not given here?

Mr. Isaacs

Because in this instance the men have remained unemployed and there was no need to give a reason which the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has now twisted into an excuse.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is the Minister aware that there is five times the amount of unemployment in Scotland that there is in London and the South of England?

Hon. Members


Mr. Isaacs

The point is that there is a shortage of labour in London and there is a surplus of labour in Scotland. There is, of course, a well known way of filling these London vacancies but there is some hesitation in introducing compulsory transfer.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

We cannot pursue this any further. Supplementary questions are meant to seek information, but here they are giving information.

Sir W. Smithers

It is a futile reply.

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