§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that certain trade unions of skilled men in Great Britain pay out-of-work benefits to the extent of about £500,000 per annum; whether he will, through the Labour Department, cause inquiry to be made into the methods employed by Continent Governments of assisting such trade unions; and whether, in view of the importance of encouraging this special form of thrift, he will consider the possibility of making proportionate contributions towards the cost of trade union insurance against unemployment.
(Answered by Mr. Kearley.) I am aware of the fact stated in the first part of the Question. My hon. friend will find a good deal of information on the subject in which he is interested in certain recent numbers of the Labour Gazette, of which I am sending him copies. If he will suggest in what particulars he desires that this information should be supplemented, the Department will be glad to consider how far they can meet his wishes. I have no reason to think that a contribution out of public funds towards the support of this particular form of thrift would be welcomed by trade unions in this country.