HC Deb 18 July 1950 vol 477 cc2025-6
35. Squadron-Leader Burden

asked the Minister of Labour if he will state the extent of the present unemployment in the clothing industry; and what steps he proposes to take to ease the situation.

Mr. Isaacs

Owing to seasonal fluctuations, there has recently been some increase in the number of persons whose last employment was in certain sections of the clothing industry. The total number of unemployed in all groups of the clothing industry was 8,841 on 12th June. My local offices will assist those who apply to find suitable alternative employment.

Squadron-Leader Burden

Is the Minister aware that there is also considerable part-time unemployment now, and will he and his colleagues consider reducing the amount of Purchase Tax that is paid on general goods?

Mr. Isaacs

The hon. and gallant Gentleman ought to put that down to the appropriate Minister. Unemployment within the whole industry is a little less than 11 per cent., which is the national average over all industries.

Mr. Porter

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the clothing industry unemployment does not exist in that portion of the trade which pays Purchase Tax?

Mr. Isaacs

The point of this, of course, is that this is seasonal unemployment.