HC Deb 10 July 1967 vol 750 cc67-9
7. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Minister of Labour what figures are available for the number unemployed in each

Men Boys Women Girls Total
South East 97,777 2,629 15,723 1,379 117,508
East Anglia 8,469 241 1,796 220 10,726
South Western 21,959 594 4,464 467 27,484
West Midlands 40,053 1,172 8,366 907 50,498
East Midlands 18,152 495 4,129 469 23,245
Yorks and Humberside 31,772 1,086 5,908 806 39,572
North-Western 51,698 1,747 14,441 1,062 68,948
Northern 38,645 1,597 7,525 922 48,689
Scotland 55,564 2,077 18,023 1,318 76,982
Wales 26,604 1,315 6,998 1,242 36,159
22. Mr. Ridley

asked the Minister of Labour what estimate he has made of the peak level of unemployment next winter.

Mr. Gunter

I am not prepared to give forecasts of the future level of unemployment.

Mr. Ridley

In view of the fact that last month the percentage of unemployment, seasonally adjusted, again rose, and that the Treasury, in Economic Trends, expressed the belief that it will continue to rise, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in order to allay fears for the coming winter some estimate should be made, because the situation appears to he extremely menacing at present?

Mr. Gunter

I am in no doubt as to the seriousness of the unemployment of the standard regions; and what estimates have been produced for the hidden unemployment in the South-East represented by the drift back of workers to the development areas.

Mr. Gunter

As the answer to the first part of the Question consists of a table of figures, I will with permission circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The answer to the second part is that no such estimates have been made.

Mr. Roberts

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that to consider unemployment and development help in different regions of this type is useless and meaningless? Would he accept that what is needed is to consider each locality from the point of view both of its employment problems and its contribution to economic growth?

Mr. Gunter

I am sure that there is much virtue in that, but I am asked to supply the figures of the number of unemployed in each of the standard regions.

Following is the information:

figures, seasonally adjusted, but I must stand by what I told the House before, namely, that I would not wish to assume the role of a prophet.

Mr. R. Carr

Will not the right hon. Gentleman give this matter further consideration? Does not he realise that with the seasonal trend moving as it is at the moment there is bound to be great concern? Does not he recall that my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, West (Mr. Iain Macleod), when Minister of Labour, helped to allay concern by making such a forecast, which proved approximately correct?

Mr. Gunter

I have always been puzzled by that prophecy of the right hon. Gentleman. He was so accurate that it must have been an accident. I do not wish to run into that sort of accident.

Mr. Frank Allaun

Will my right hon. Friend ask his Cabinet colleagues to remove the deflationary measures in order that this trend shall not continue any longer?

Mr. Gunter

That consideration is ever present in the mind of my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.