§ 31. Sir J. D. REES
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has seen the case of a widow in Bristol who pleaded that she had been driven to steal by distress caused by the National Insurance Act, which led to the discharge of herself and a number of other women workers; whether he is aware that large numbers of similar cases of loss of livelihood have occurred in Nottingham; and whether, in consideration of these facts, of the inability of the Government to provide medical benefits, and of the general distress and unemployment caused by the collection of the insurance tax, the Government will consider the propriety of introducing at an early date the principle of contracting out or otherwise avoiding the benefits of the Act?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I have heard nothing of the alleged "facts" referred to in the question, nor of any inability of the Government to provide medical benefit, nor of general distress and unemployment caused by the collection of the insurance contributions. If the hon. Gentleman has any information in his possession on these matters I shall be glad if he will communicate with me.