Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort – in the House of Commons on 20th April 1944.
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any evidence that unemployment is on the increase; and will he make a statement on the matter.
No, Sir. The latest available figures, those for last January, showed a small increase, but this was due to seasonal and temporary reasons.
Has there not been some increase in heavy industries, such as iron and steel? Has not the dispute at Hall-side, in Lanarkshire, to which the right hon. Gentleman has just referred, arisen through redundancy, and is not the same kind of thing happening elsewhere?
Redundancy is not occurring in the ordinarily accepted sense. It is not in the public interest to give the reasons.
What is the difference between redundancy and unemployment? It comes to the same thing, because it means that people are out of a job.
asked the Minister of Labour whether the numbers of permanently unemployed men and women at the date of the last official quarterly compilation represents the hard core of unemployment which will always exist.
In present circumstances there is practically no hard core of unemployment. The number of persons capable of work who are permanently unemployed is negligible. Those now registered as out of work consist almost entirely of persons who are unemployed for a short interval between one job and the next.
Cannot these figures be given in a different form so as to indicate those who are unemployable?
The present form of registration of unemployable people does allow a means of providing them with an income, and until the social service law is amended by a new scheme, I think any change might prejudice them.