§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
asked the Lord Privy Seal the increase in the number 1974W of unemployed women at the present time as compared with 12 months ago; the number and nature of the schemes initiated by him to deal with the large number of unemployed women; the number of women he estimates to have obtained employment under these schemes; and the number who will be employed under them during the next 12 months?
The increase in the number of women on the registers of Employment Exchanges in Great Britain between 25th March, 1929, and 24th March, 1930, the latest date for which figures are available, was 195,712, the greatest rise being in the North Western Division of England which showed an increase of 78,312. As regards the latter part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on 11th November last to the Noble Lord the Member for Aldershot (Viscount Wolmer) in which I pointed out that in view of the nature of the trades in which such unemployment as exists among women is found, the 'benefit which they derive from works instituted with Government assistance must necessarily be in the main through increased employment indirectly resulting from such works. Schemes of training for women and girls are, however, being extended in various directions. I may add that the latest industrial analysis shows that during the past year the industry with the greatest numerical and proportionate increase in unemployment among women was the cotton industry. As regards the steps taken to deal with the position in this industry I would refer to the reply which I gave on 11th February to my hon. Friend the Member for Sowerby (Mr. Tout) a copy of which I am sending to the hon. Member.