21 NOVEMBER 1908, Page 18

An interesting debate on unemployment took place in the Reichstag

yesterday week. In his reply to the interpellations of the Centre Party and Socialists, Herr Bethmann-Hollweg, the Imperial Secretary of State for the Interior, contended that the international crisis, judged by the test of the reduction in exports, had affected Germany less seriously than other countries. The figures supplied by the Trade-Unions showed that 2-7 per cent. of the one million two hundred and seventy thousand members were out of work at the end of July, as compared with 8-2 in England,—a percentage which, according to the English Press, had further increased. In France the percentage of unemployed at the end of August was 8.3, and in Belgium 5.3. Independent calculations, however, recently published in the North German Gazette estimate the number of unemployed in Germany at the end of September at four hundred thousand, or about three per cent. of the total working-class population of the Empire, a total which steadily increased throughout October; but it is pointed out that the total number of applicants of both sexes for every hundred vacancies, though it has risen from 122-7 last year to 166-1 this October, is con- siderably lower than it was in 1901 and 1902.