According to information so far received by my Department about 10,600 redundancies in existing firms are due to occur in Scotland this year. All the resources of my Department will be made available as appropriate to those workpeople who need help in obtaining alternative employment. I will, with permission, circulate an industrial analysis of the redundancies in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that announcements of new job prospects in Scotland are seriously overtaken by announcements of contraction in established industries? Would he not agree that it would be helpful if the Government were to pursue a policy aimed at holding the jobs we have in established industries? Is lie aware that if they do not do this, the unemployment figures, terrifying now, will be even more terrifying next winter?
We take the position very seriously indeed. The redundancy position is somewhat better. The figures were 5,900 for the first three months of 1970 and 14,900 for the first three months of 1971. Obviously it is not possible to predict what will happen in the next few months, but certainly the first quarter's figures for this year show an encouraging drop.
The Minister will be aware that I have had a meeting with him and corresponded with him about the redundancies in my constituency. In addition I have a Question down about this. Does he realise that there have been further redundancies not only in my con- situency but outside, it, involving many of my constituents? Can he tell us once and for all what are the Government's intentions towards Scotland as a whole?
The new regional measures recently announced should be a great help. I know of the hon. Gentleman's particular difficulties and, as he says, we are keeping in particularly close touch.
|REDUNDANCIES RECORDED AS DUE TO OCCUR IN|
|Industry||Number of work Industry people involved|
|Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing||16|
|Mining and Quarrying||378|
|Food, Drink and Tobacco||980|
|Coal and Petroleum Products||—|
|Chemical and Allied Industries||51|
|Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering||577|
|Metal Goods not elsewhere specified||443|
|Leather, Leather Goods and Fur||—|
|Clothing and Footwear||493|
|Bricks, Pottery, Glass, Cement etc.||291|
|Timber, Furniture etc||261|
|Paper. Printing and Publishing||385|
|Other Manufacturing Industries||161|
|Gas, Electricity and Water||107|
|Transport and Communication||228|
|Insurance, Banking, Finance and Business Services||—|
|Professional and Scientific Services||—|
|Public Administration and Defence||176|