CENSUSES OF PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM In Dec. 1906 the legislative authority for the taking of a series of censuses of production in the United Kingdom was given in the Census of Production Act. (6 Edw. VII. c. 49) which provided for a census in respect of 1907 and for repetition of the enquiry as might be prescribed by the Board of Trade by an order to be laid before parliament. The order was duly made in 1911 and prescribed a series of enquiries at intervals of five years. The work of verifying and completing the particulars furnished in re spect of 1912 was interrupted by the outbreak of war in 1914, and in 1917 an act was passed providing for the suspension of the series of enquiries, and for resumption on the making of a new order by the Board of Trade. On two occasions such orders were made and cancelled, but in 1923 the authority was given for a third census in respect of 1924. The preliminary results of this enquiry were published in 1927 and the early part of 1928.
The act of 1906, while providing for the collection of par ticulars of the output of each establishment of certain defined characters, of the total cost of the materials used, of the persons employed and of the mechanical power equipment in such estab lishments, limited the range of the information obtainable by compulsion. While the details of the value of goods produced might be demanded in accordance with the forms prescribed by the Board of Trade, particulars of quantity can only be required in cases in which the goods to which they relate are such as, on im portation or exportation, must be recorded, in the forms furnished to the Customs by the importers or exporters, in terms of quan tity as well as of value ; details of the kinds of materials used and their amount cannot be required to be furnished, but only the aggregate cost of all materials together; and while the numbers of persons employed may be demanded from the proprietors of the establishments liable to furnish returns, the wages paid are specifically excluded from the items of information to which powers of compulsion may be applied.
The enquiry of 1907 covered the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Separate summaries of particulars relating to England and Wales, to Scotland and to Ireland were provided for, but the necessity for presenting results in a manner which should not reveal the particulars of any individual business (unless with the consent of the proprietors) rendered a complete separation of the information relating to Scotland and to Ireland impossible in the case of certain industries. The enquiry of 1924 was carried out for Great Britain separately, a parallel enquiry in Northern Ire land being made simultaneously on behalf of the Government of Northern Ireland by the Board of Trade. The necessity to pre serve secrecy regarding the operations of individual businesses, and the lack of a separate summary of the results of the 1907 enquiry relating to Northern Ireland together form a serious ob stacle in the way of satisfactory comparisons between 1907 and 1924 for Great Britain and Northern Ireland taken as a whole. For Great Britain taken by itself such a comparison can be made in respect of the more important results secured, but it will be obvious that it is far from satisfactory to compare production in Great Britain with the imports and exports of the United King dom (including Northern Ireland in 5924 and the whole of Ireland in 1907). For a few classes of products the non-comparability of
the figures is of serious importance.
The numbers enumerated as at work, on the average of the prescribed days, in the establishments covered by the two en quiries showed, thus, an increase of 13.83 per cent. The aggre gate population of Great Britain increased, between 1907 and 1924, by a little less than io per cent., and the numbers recorded as gainfully employed at the population census dates permit of an estimate for the dates of the census of production showing an increase of 13.87 per cent. The census of production thus covered practically the same proportion of the occupied popula tion in 1924 as in 1907. Inasmuch as the totals recorded in the census of population as "gainfully occupied" include those not actually at work on the census date, and unemployment is known to have been much greater in 1924 than in 1907, and to have affected particularly those occupied in the industries covered by the census of production, these trades must, it would appear, have found employment for a definitely larger fraction of all persons earning a livelihood in 1924 than in 1907. If those actually at work in these trades and those connected with them but absent through unemployment, sickness, etc., on any or all of the speci fied days are taken together, their proportion to the total of the persons earning their living was, for the reason stated above, notably larger in 1924 than in 1907. If the figures for the two sexes be taken separately, the proportion of increase in the num ber of males at work as recorded in the census of production re turns was somewhat smaller than that of all males having a gainful occupation, and that in the number of females definitely greater. It will be noted that the operative staffs have increased by only a little over 1 o per cent. in numbers while the adminis trative, technical and clerical staffs have increased by 6o per cent. Among the former, taken as a whole, the proportion of females had not increased; it had, indeed, slightly diminished. Among the administrative and clerical staffs, the proportion of females had increased largely, and apart from this, the male members of these staffs have increased in proportion to the numbers of the operative staffs. The total of the controlling and clerical staffs amounted in 1907 to 7.1 per cent. of the total employed, and in 1924 to 9.9 per cent. The proportion of females to males in these staffs was 1 to 6 in 1907 and was 2 to 7 in 1924. An increase of clerical staff appears to be indicated as the principal element in this relative increase of females and a large element in the in creased proportion to the operative staff of the other persons employed. Among probable reasons for these increases are the greater attention now given to cost accounting and other work of like nature, and some extension of the preparation for sale, and control of sales, carried out by the manufacturers' own staffs.