14. Mr. J. J. Davidson
asked the Minister of Labour the total increase or decrease of registered unemployed in Scotland for the years 1937 and 1938, respectively?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I have had some little difficulty in deciding precisely what figures the hon. Member is seeking, but perhaps the following will give him the information he desires: Between 25th January and 21st June, 1937, the total number of unemployed persons on the registers of Employment Exchanges in Scotland fell by 56,376 from 271,342 to 214,966. Between 17th January and 13th June, 1938, the number fell by 30,152, from 269,999 to 239,847.
In view of the fact that the increase and decrease of unemployment in Scotland are so regular as to indicate that after a period of five years the problem is still the same, has the Minister any special plan for dealing with this question so far as Scotland is concerned?
§ Mr. Brown
It is true that the figures are very similar, but I could not agree that it is the same problem at all. At 21st June, 1937, there were 15,100 temporarily stopped, whereas on 13th June, 1938, there were 37,299 temporarily stopped. That is an increase of more than 22,000 in the number temporarily stopped. It would be a mistake to regard the problem as being the same, though the figures on paper may seem to be the same.
Do not the figures which the Minister has given indicate that in the period of eight years from 1930 there has been an increase; and does not he think it is time he had some special plans for this distressed area?
§ Sir John Haslam
Cannot the Minister use the same plan that the Socialist party used in order to solve this problem when they were in office?