HC Deb 12 November 1970 vol 806 cc588-90
14. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide details of the number of unemployed and the numbers of unfilled vacancies in Scotland in the months of June, July, August, September and October, 1970.

Mr. Dudley Smith

As the reply consists of a table of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Douglas

I thank the Minister for that inadequate reply. I shall certainly look at the official record. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the trend in Scotland is an ever-increasing gap between the level of employment and the level of unfilled vacancies? Does the Minister further agree that within the figures for unfilled vacancies and unemployment there are certain discrepancies which he will see if he looks at the minimum list headings on the Standard Industrial Classification which show quite clearly that there is a need to raise the level of earnings, particularly in the mining industry, to attract sufficient labour to ensure the future of the Scottish coal-mining industry?

Mr. Smith

I do not consider that my reply is inadequate. If I had read the whole table of figures I should have been rebuked by you, Mr. Speaker. We are all aware that there is an unemployment problem in Scotland. That is why the Government have announced measures which we consider will be far more effective than the measures introduced by the previous Administration.

Mr. Bruce-Gardyne

Has my hon. Friend's attention been drawn to the recent comments by the managing director of Chrysler United Kingdom in Scotland about the discouraging impact on potential incoming industry of the reputation for militancy and irresponsibility of some of the unions in central Scotland? Will he consider sending copies of that speech to union-sponsored Members of Parliament from Scotland?

Mr. Smith

I have seen that and I shall have to consider what my hon. Friend said in the second part of his question. I am sure that in a situation in which there is a great unemployment difficulty it does not help if there are bad industrial relations, and it behoves both sides of industry to try to co-operate to the maximum where there is an unemployment problem.

Mr. James Hamilton

With the Minister disregard the statement made by the hon. Member for South Augus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) and take it from me that industrialists in Lanarkshire have given me carte blanche to say that they are prepared at all times to state that workers in Scotland are second to none? If, on that basis, we as Scottish people continue to say that, we can encourage industrialists to go there, because the industrial record of trade unions and managements is second to none.

Mr. Smith

As with my hon. Friend's comments, I take note of what the hon. Gentleman said.

Following is the information:

Wholly unemployed Unfilled vacancies
June, 1970 81,686 18,629
July, 1970 90,598 17,134
August, 1970 94,111 16,119
September, 1970 92,349 14,807
October, 1970 93,126 13,279

The vacancy statistics relate only to vacancies which were notified to Employment Exchanges and Youth Employment Service Careers Offices and remained unfilled on selected dates. They do not purport to measure the total unsatisfied demand for labour.