The number of persons engaged in the construction and repair of motor cars, motor lorries, motor omnibuses, motor cycles, cycles and aircraft registered as unemployed at Employment Exchanges in Great Britain on 22nd September, 1924, was 21,475 as compared with 23,532 on 24th September, 1923.
With regard to the first supplementary question, it is perfectly evident that the fears that were entertained by many people have not materialised. I have no information that 5,000 of these people have found work driving Ford motor cars.
The number of persons on the registers of Employment Exchanges in Great Britain at 29th September, 1924, was 1,198,800, compared with 1,009,444 at 30th June, and 1,048,261 at 28th July. I am not aware of any evidence that any part of this increase is due to the repeal of the McKenna Duties, but I take this opportunity of pointing out that a substantial part of the increase is not a real increase in unemployment but is due to administrative and legislative changes in the Unemployment Insurance Schemes which have brought on the registers unemployed persons who previously, not being entitled to benefit, would not have registered. Rather less than half the increase of 150,539 since the end of July is due to an effect of the Unemployment Insurance Act of 1st August in bringing on the registers for the first time certain classes of unemployed persons, particularly those out of work owing to a trade dispute at their place of employment and those unemployed for short or uncertain periods. The withdrawal in February last of certain administrative restrictions on the grant of uncovenanted benefit had a similar effect in increasing the numbers counted as unemployed as compared with the figures prior to that date, but I am unable at present to give an estimate of the precise extent of this increase.
Is it not a fact that these unemployment figures have been increasing week by week during the last three months, and that the week ending 29th September there was an increase of 18,000?
Is it not a fact that since the repeal of the McKenna Duties and the lapsing of the Safeguarding of Industries Act—[HON. MEMBERS: "Order, order!"]—the unemployment figures—
asked the Minister of Labour the present number of unemployed persons, men, women, and young persons, respectively, and the number working on consistent short time?
At 29th September the numbers oil the registers of Employment Exchanges in Great Britain, including those on short time and not at work on that date, were 903,700 men, 223,900 women, 37,700 boys, and 33,500 girls. The only available figure that can be given separately for those on short time is that for persons recorded as being on systematic short time, namely, 21,100 men, 12,000 women, and 2,600 boys and girls. In accordance with the practice adopted from last March and onwards, these figures for systematic short time are included in those just given for the numbers on the registers; but I may point out that in the figures published prior to March, those for the live registers did not include the numbers on systematic short time, which were published separately.