HC Deb 06 December 1961 vol 650 cc1351-2
8. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Labour what was the average of registered unemployed in Scotland in 1951 and in 1961 to date, respectively; and what were those averages expressed as a percentage of the total of insured employees.

Mr. Hare

The figures are 53,413 and 67,639; that is 2.5 per cent. and 3.1 per cent., respectively.

Mr. Dempsey

Does the Minister realise that what he is saying is that after ten years of Conservative rule Scotland has more unemployment than ever? Does he realise that although that may be good enough for his party and Government it is not good enough for the people of Scotland? Is it not about time that he got cracking with plans, not platitudes, to bring additional work to Scotland so that citizens of the United Kingdom in that part of the country may enjoy the privilege of the right to work?

Mr. Hare

The hon. Member enjoyed his supplementary question. He realises that 1951 was a year of particularly low unemployment. He accuses me of platitudes and of doing nothing. I remind him that since October, 1951, industrial development certificates have been approved covering nearly 90,000 jobs. Every Scottish Member knows that we are doing all we can to encourage the development of a broader-based and progressive economy in Scotland. He may not know that by October of this year no fewer than 29,000 jobs had arisen or are expected from factory building and financial assistance provided under the Local Employment Act, 1960.

Mr. Willis

Is the Minister aware that the figures which he has given, distressing though they are, fail to take account of the tens of thousands of Scotsmen who have been driven to seek jobs outside Scotland and that but for this the figures would be much worse? Would he not impress upon the President of the Board of Trade the need for a much greater programme than is at present being undertaken in connection with Scotland?

Mr. Hare

My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade will take note of what the hon. Member and others have said, but, in fairness, I ask hon. Members not to minimise the immense effort which has been made in providing extra jobs in Scotland.

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Scott-Hopkins.

Mr. Dempsey

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the Minister's reply, I beg to give notice that I will raise the matter on the Adjournment as early as possible.

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