HC Deb 05 June 1967 vol 747 cc603-4
8. Mr. Scott

asked the Minister of Labour what relationship the percentage increase in total registered unemployed from February, 1966, to February, 1967, in manufacturing industry bore to the equivalent figure for the distributive trades.

Mr. Hattersley

In February, 1967, the number of persons registered as wholly unemployed in Great Britain who last worked in manufacturing industries and in the distributive trades were 89.5 per cent. and 60.4 per cent., higher, respectively, than in February, 1966. With the inclusion of persons temporarily stopped in these industries, the percentage increases in total registered unemployed were 147 per cent. and 60.6 per cent. respectively.

Mr. Scott

The increase in manufacturing industry is higher than that in the service industries and the distributive trades. Was not redeployment supposed to achieve precisely the reverse? Does not this again show that redeployment is an absolute myth?

Mr. Hattersley

The hon. Gentleman will realise, on reflection, that figures simply of the type for which he has asked give no real indication of the transfer from one industry to another. I can only answer his Question. The implication he draws from my Answer must be related to its content, which does not in any way substantiate the conclusion he has drawn.

Mr. Ridley

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary has just said that the total number in manufacturing industry has dropped by over 300,000. In view of that, how can he maintain the position which he has just adopted in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Padding-ton, South (Mr. Scott)?

Mr. Hattersley

Other economic factors besides S.E.T. contributed to the fall in employment in manufacturing. Had it not been for the S.E.T. bonus, the fall might well have been a good deal more than it is.