§ 30 and 34. Mr. Allaun
asked the Minister of Labour (1) approximately how many married women who go out to work are not covered for unemployment insurance; how many of these have lost their jobs this year; and whether he will include such persons in the official unemployment figures;
(2) if he will estimate the approximate number of married women who have become unemployed in Lancashire cotton mills in the last three years but who are not included in the number of unemployed because they are not covered by unemployment insurance.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
It is estimated that about two-and-a-quarter million married women who go out to work are not covered by unemployment insurance. It is not possible to say how many of them have lost their jobs. They are included in the monthly statistics of unemployment if they register at the employment exchanges for other work.
§ Mr. Allaun
Does the Minister agree that with 440,000 registered unemployed, plus all these married women unemployed, not to mention the hundreds of thousands on short time, we now have easily the highest figure of unemployed since 1939? Are we again to have eleven men for ten jobs, as is so cold-bloodedly advocated in certain quarters as a means to undermine the trade unions?
§ Mr. Macleod
That is absolute nonsense, and I am sure that the hon. Member knows it. I think that he also makes the mistake of assuming that the married women are not included in the unemployment figures if they are not eligible for unemployment benefit. That is not so. The unemployment figures include all those who are applicants for work, whether or not they are entitled to benefit.