Scotland (Unemployment and Unfilled Vacancies)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1970.

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Photo of Mr Dick Douglas Mr Dick Douglas , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire 12:00 am, 12th November 1970

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will provide details of the number of unemployed and the numbers of unfilled vacancies in Scotland in the months of June, July, August, September and October, 1970.

Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Warwick and Leamington

As the reply consists of a table of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Mr Dick Douglas Mr Dick Douglas , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

I thank the Minister for that inadequate reply. I shall certainly look at the official record. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the trend in Scotland is an ever-increasing gap between the level of employment and the level of unfilled vacancies? Does the Minister further agree that within the figures for unfilled vacancies and unemployment there are certain discrepancies which he will see if he looks at the minimum list headings on the Standard Industrial Classification which show quite clearly that there is a need to raise the level of earnings, particularly in the mining industry, to attract sufficient labour to ensure the future of the Scottish coal-mining industry?

Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Warwick and Leamington

I do not consider that my reply is inadequate. If I had read the whole table of figures I should have been rebuked by you, Mr. Speaker. We are all aware that there is an unemployment problem in Scotland. That is why the Government have announced measures which we consider will be far more effective than the measures introduced by the previous Administration.

Photo of Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne Mr Jock Bruce-Gardyne , South Angus

Has my hon. Friend's attention been drawn to the recent comments by the managing director of Chrysler United Kingdom in Scotland about the discouraging impact on potential incoming industry of the reputation for militancy and irresponsibility of some of the unions in central Scotland? Will he consider sending copies of that speech to union-sponsored Members of Parliament from Scotland?

Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Warwick and Leamington

I have seen that and I shall have to consider what my hon. Friend said in the second part of his question. I am sure that in a situation in which there is a great unemployment difficulty it does not help if there are bad industrial relations, and it behoves both sides of industry to try to co-operate to the maximum where there is an unemployment problem.

Photo of Mr Jimmy Hamilton Mr Jimmy Hamilton , Bothwell

With the Minister disregard the statement made by the hon. Member for South Augus (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) and take it from me that industrialists in Lanarkshire have given me carte blanche to say that they are prepared at all times to state that workers in Scotland are second to none? If, on that basis, we as Scottish people continue to say that, we can encourage industrialists to go there, because the industrial record of trade unions and managements is second to none.

Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Warwick and Leamington

As with my hon. Friend's comments, I take note of what the hon. Gentleman said.

Following is the information:

NUMBERS REGISTERED AS WHOLLY UNEMPLOYED AND NOTIFIED VACANCIES REMAINING UNFILLED IN SCOTLAND
Wholly unemployedUnfilled vacancies
June, 197081,68618,629
July, 197090,59817,134
August, 197094,11116,119
September, 197092,34914,807
October, 197093,12613,279

The vacancy statistics relate only to vacancies which were notified to Employment Exchanges and Youth Employment Service Careers Offices and remained unfilled on selected dates. They do not purport to measure the total unsatisfied demand for labour.