HC Deb 23 May 1960 vol 624 cc17-8
19. Mr. Millan

asked the Minister of Labour what percentages of the total population of England, Wales and Scotland were gainfully employed in 1957, and at the latest convenient date, respectively.

Mr. Heath

The figures in respect of all gainfully employed persons are available only for Great Britain as a whole. I regret, therefore, that I am unable to give the information for which the hon. Gentleman asks.

Mr. Millan

If the information were available, would it not show that the normal published figures of employment actually understate the position in Scotland, since in an area of high unemployment, like Scotland, many people who might otherwise be eligible for work do not register as unemployed in view of their very poor prospects?

Mr. Heath

I do not think that I agree with the last part of the hon. Gentleman's remarks.

Mr. Lawson

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why this information is not now available when it was available two years ago?

Mr. Heath

I think the hon. Gentleman will find that he is mistaken and that this information has never been available. That is because of the form in which the Question is put. It refers to "gainfully employed" and asks for a breakdown for England, Wales and Scotland. It would have to include employers and self-employed, and we do not have the breakdown for those figures.