Vacancies (Scotland)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock 12:00 am, 20th July 1964

asked the Minister of Labour what was the ratio of wholly-unemployed persons to notified unfilled vacancies in London and the South-East and in Scotland at the latest available date and the comparable date in 1961.

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

One hundred to 239 for the London and South Eastern Region and 100 to 25 for Scotland in June, 1964, compared with 100 to 265 and 100 to 36 respectively in June, 1961.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

This means, of course, that the position, from the point of view of both the nation and Scotland, is worse than it was; that we are right back to where we were, even worse, than 1961, with 70,000 people unemployed in Scotland—[Interruption.]—and will the Minister say what he is going to do to remedy the position? What is today's complacent story?

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

We do not need to have complacent stories. We rely on the facts as they emerge, and unemployment in Scotland fell by 8,500 between May and June of this year. It is now 24,000 lower than it was a year ago. These are the facts that matter to the people of Scotland.

Photo of Mr William Small Mr William Small , Glasgow Scotstoun

asked the Minister of Labour what was the ratio of wholly-unemployed boys under 18 years of age to notified unfilled vacancies for boys in Birmingham and Glasgow at the relevant dates in June, 1964.

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

At mid-June, for every 100 wholly unemployed boys there were 2,895 notified vacancies in Birmingham and 88 in Glasgow.

Photo of Mr William Small Mr William Small , Glasgow Scotstoun

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these two cities are almost equal in population? Does he realise that the differentiation and distortion in job opportunity in Birmingham as compared with Glasgow has become traditional over the years, and will he give an explanation for this?

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

The hon. Gentleman is surely aware of the action which the Government have been taking in the last two years to try to rectify this position, and that the position is improving in Glasgow. I was talking about this with some of the local people in Glasgow a week or two ago. It is worth pointing out that of the boys who left school at Easter in Glasgow, only 11 were still registered for first employment in June.

Photo of Mr George Lawson Mr George Lawson , Motherwell

asked the Minister of Labour what was the ratio of wholly-unemployed boys under 18 years of age to notified unfilled vacancies for boys in the Midlands and in Scotland at the relevant dates in June, 1964.

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

At mid-June, for every 100 wholly unemployed boys under 18 there were 2,122 unfilled vacancies in the Midlands and 111 in Scotland.

Photo of Mr George Lawson Mr George Lawson , Motherwell

Does the right hon. Gentleman feel that this is a scandalous difference between these two areas? Does he not agree that instead of the difference narrowing it is widening between various parts of the country? Does he not appreciate that this is perhaps the best measure of all as to job opportunities in any part of the country, and would he not further agree that the Scottish people are rightly justified in feeling that their interests have been badly neglected by this Government?

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

That is not so. Naturally the position is different, for the reasons I gave in reply to earlier Questions, but the fact remains that the position in Scotland is improving materially at the moment. That is what matters.