HC Deb 06 July 1960 vol 626 cc421-2
1. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Labour how many persons were registered for employment in Scotland at the latest date for which figures are available; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that they will be offered suitable employment in the near future.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Edward Heath)

The Answer is 69,543 on 13th June. My local officers will continue to do all they can to find suitable vacancies for them.

Mr. Dempsey

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that Scotland requires something more than generalities? Will not he consult his right hon. Friends and precisely plan the development of employment opportunities in Scotland so that the 69,500 people who are unemployed can look forward to having a job in the very near future?

Mr. Heath

The Government are doing everything they can to persuade industry to go to development districts, and these cover 77.4 per cent. of those who are unemployed in Scotland.

2. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Labour how many children left school in Scotland in 1959, and what number failed to find employment; how many are estimated to leave school in 1962; and, on the basis of present employment prospects, how many are likely to be placed in employment.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Peter Thomas)

Out of approximately 62,000 school leavers, 152 who left in the summer and Christmas terms in 1959 were still awaiting employment on 13th June. No figure is available for those who left in the spring term. Some 81,000 will seek work in 1962 and their prospects will depend on the general employment outlook, which, I am glad to say, has lately improved significantly in Scotland.

Mr. Dempsey

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary realise that that Answer is not good enough for the people of Scotland? It is a well-known fact that one authority alone is likely to have 5,000 girls and boys unemployed in 1962. Will not he try to give us exact details of the serious nature of the problem so that we will be able to make every effort to provide employment prospects for school leavers?

Mr. Thomas

The Question which the hon. Member asked was how many children left school in 1959 and what number failed to get employment. I gave him the exact figures. He also asked how many it is estimated will leave school in 1962, and I gave him an estimate. He will appreciate that there has been a considerable improvement concerning children over the last year—an increase in vacancies and a decrease in unemployment. The number of vacancies for girls exceeds the number of girls who are unemployed by six times.

Mr. Lee

Is it not the case that the Government's present economic policies will result in the creation of unemployment—[HON. MEMBERS; "Why?"]— because credit squeezes and 6 per cent. Bank Rates generally have that effect. Therefore, the Ministry of Labour must have serious representations to make to the Chancellor of the Exchequer concerning the opportunities which will arise during the next two years when the bulge will create a very great problem.

Mr. Thomas

I certainly would not agree with the hon. Member's forecast about the result of the Government's economic policy.