HC Deb 13 March 1963 vol 673 c1342
22. Mr. Mapp

asked the Minister of Labour if he will state the number of wholly unemployed in the Oldham area for the latest available date this year, the comparable figure for last year, and the number of vacancies available at the same dates.

Mr. Whitelaw

At the Oldham and Chadderton Employment Exchange, 1,488 workers were registered as wholly unemployed on 11th February and 984 in February, 1962; the corresponding numbers of unfilled vacancies notified to the Exchange were 199 and 683.

Mr. Mapp

As the figures will exclude temporarily suspended workers and many married women, is the hon. Gentleman aware that the figures that he has given represent about a 50 per cent. increase in those of last year and an increase of about 120 per cent. on those for the year before? In view of that and the depressed condition of the textile industry, would the Parliamentary Secretary suggest to the Minister that he might have a word with both the President of the Board of Trade and the Chancellor of the Exchequer and point out that a combination, possibly, of Purchase Tax reduction and some alleviation of import difficulties might be helpful to the industry and to the unemployment situation?

Mr. Whitelaw

I would point out to the hon. Gentleman that, as I am sure he appreciates, the largest increase was in the construction industry and we all have our reasonable hopes there. Nevertheless, all the right hon. Gentlemen whom the hon. Gentleman mentioned will certainly take note of what he has said.