HC Deb 17 June 1952 vol 502 cc990-1
56. Mr. Grimond

asked the Minister of Labour how unemployment in Shetland and the seven crofting counties, respectively, compares, over last year, with the general United Kingdom rate.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

As the reply includes a Table of figures I will, if I may, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Grimond

Is it not the case that unemployment, at least in certain of the crofter counties, has been consistently higher; and if that is the case, can the hon. Gentleman say what the Government propose to do to reduce it?

Mr. Watkinson

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would have a look at the figures. It is quite true, as he rightly says, that the position, particularly in the Shetlands, must cause my right hon. and learned Friend grave concern. He is watching the position very carefully.

Mr. Patrick Maitland

Can the figures for 1950 be included in the information my hon. Friend is giving to the House?

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, Sir, the figures will be included in the information.

Following is the reply:

Area Number of unemployed persons on the registers of Employment Exchanges in the area named in Col. (1) expressed as percentage of the estimated total number of employees in the area of those Exchanges
21st May, 1951 13th Aug., 1951 12th Nov., 1951 11th Feb., 1952 12th May, 1952
Shetland Islands 11.9 8.6 13.3 21.1 18.0
Orkney Islands 1.0 0.6 1.6 2.6 0.7
Counties of Caithness, Ross and Cromarty, Sutherland, Inverness Argyle.* 5.4 4.4 6.5 8.7 5.7
Great Britain 1.0 1.0 1.4 1.9 2.2
* Owing to the fact that the boundaries of employment exchange areas do not coincide with county boundaries it is not possible to provide separate figures for each of these counties.