Debate on the Address

Part of Orders of the Day — King's Speech – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th March 1950.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Lewisham South 12:00 am, 7th March 1950

Let us have another test put upon it. I am advised by the Ministry of Labour that the number of people in civil employment in the middle of 1939 was approximately 18 million. At the end of 1948 it was 19,153,000: and at the end of 1949 it was 22,222,000—I beg pardon. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh! "] All right, I am being quite fair to the House. This is not an election meeting. That figure is under the new series and, therefore, ought not to be quoted, because it is not comparable with the other two; but there is the comparison between the figures of 18 million and 19,153,000. Therefore, besides unemployment having been kept down to under 2 per cent., except during the fuel crisis, it is the fact that the positive addition to civil employment is materially greater, and that in civil employment the number of people working, which is an even stiffer test, is much greater.