HC Deb 04 February 1947 vol 432 cc1544-6
1. Brigadier Mackeson

asked the Minister of Labour how the total number of persons employed by the State and local authorities in 1913 and 1938 compares with similar figures for 1946.

Mr. Isaacs

As the reply contains a table of figures, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

Statistics are not available for 1913 and 1938, but the following estimate is given for 1911, 1939 and 1946.

suitable for work in the coalmines or the tinplate works.

Mr. Isaacs

It is impossible to state with any degree of accuracy the number of unemployed men in South Wales who are in all respects suitable for work in the coalmines. The case of each man who, at first sight, appears suitable is, how- ever, examined individually by my local officers, and the possibility of guiding such men into coalmining employment is fully explored. Details of the number of men suitable for work in the tinplate industry are not available. Consistent efforts, including a publicity campaign, have been made jointly with employers to recruit men for tinplate manufacture, and will be continued.

Mr. Shepherd

Will the Minister be able to tell us what results are obtained from these efforts, because both industries are very short of men?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir, but I could not give the figures without notice. We have had fair results—not very good, because many of these men were disabled from working in the coalmines before they became unemployed.

22. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the population of Glamorgan is now lower than it has been at any time during the last 35 years, in spite of the fact that births have exceeded the number of deaths in every year; and what further steps are being taken to stop the continued migration from South Wales to other areas.

Mr. Isaacs

I understand from the Registrar-General that the population of Glamorgan at 1st November, 1946, was higher than it was 35 years ago, although in most of the intermediate years it seems to have been higher than now. The Government are pursuing an active policy designed to encourage the establishment of new industries in South Wales, but in the meantime it would be wrong to discourage unemployed workers in South Wales from finding productive work elsewhere, particularly under the special arrangements I have introduced for temporary transfer.

Mr. Freeman

While I am glad the figures are not as bad as I was informed they were, may I ask my right hon. Friend if he is aware of the growing consternation in the dock and mining areas of South Wales about this unemployment, which is still growing?

Mr. Isaacs

That is a different question. I was asked about population, and I have given the answer. But if anybody in South Wales, or in any other part of the country, has a job to go to elsewhere we must not try to stop him.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain this eagerness to leave a county which has been under Socialist control for 30 years?

Mr. Isaacs

I would like the hon. Member to give us evidence of the Socialist control of the country. [HON. MEMBERS: "County."]