HC Deb 21 September 1948 vol 456 cc668-9
3. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Labour how many increases in wages have taken place since the issue of the White Paper on Personal Incomes; how many people are affected by these increases; and the total weekly value of these increases.

Mr. Isaacs

The increases in rates of wages reported to my Department as taking effect between the beginning of February and the end of August, 1948, affected nearly 4½ million workpeople and resulted in an aggregate increase of £1 million a week. I am unable to say how many increases have taken place.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether all these increases came within the special circumstances contemplated by Paragraph 7 (d) of the White Paper?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us what relation that figure of £1 million per week bears to the total wages bill in Britain?

Mr. Isaacs

I am afraid that I cannot say without notice.

7. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Labour the number of workers involved in each industry who have received an increase of pay since the Economic Survey for 1948 was issued; and what is the total annual amount.

Mr. Isaacs

As the reply involves a table of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir W. Smithers

When will the Government realise that every increase in wages in these critical times increases our costs of production and impedes or destroys—

Mr. Speaker

That is quite a hypothetical argument.

Sir W. Smithers

On a point of Order. This Economic Survey—

Mr. Speaker

The hon. Member merely asked for a number to be stated, and then he goes on to an assumption. Really, there is a limit to the scope of supplementary questions.

Following is the reply:

The number of workers reported to the Department as having received increases of rates of wages between the beginning of March and the end of August, 1948, and the aggregate amount of such increases per week, were as follow:

Industry Group Approximate number of workpeople affected by net increases. Estimated net amount of increase in weekly wages.
Mining and quarrying 49,000 23,500
Brick, pottery, glass, chemical, etc. 62,500 16,000
Metal, engineering and shipbuilding 382,500 124,000
Textile 299,000 88,000
Clothing 252,000 98,000
Food, drink and tobacco 97,500 36,500
Woodworking, furniture, etc. 102,500 31,500
Paper, printing, etc. 150,500 63,500
Building, civil engineering construction, etc. 961,000 80,500
Gas, water and electricity supply 223,500 58,000
Transport 626,000 144,500
Public administration services 319,500 90,000
Distributive trades 239,000 54,500
Other 114,000 29,000
Total 3,878,500 937,500