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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.