§ 42. Mr. WILLIAM THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that a member of the Nottingham branch of the National Union of Gas-workers' and General Labourers' Association named G. Crinage, No. 48/D30420, applied to receive unemployment benefit in February, 1913, and that the association received authority from the Board of Trade to pay sixty-five days' benefit; that on 26th June, 1914, the Board of Trade notified the association that the claim had been disallowed for the reason that the workman had not been habitually employed in an insured trade before the commencement of the Act; if he can state the reason for the delay in the notification to the association; and whether the association will suffer the loss of the amount of State benefit paid to the member in consequence of a mistake on the part of the Board of Trade in giving authority to pay?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. J. M. Robertson)
I find on inquiry that at the date when Mr. Crinage claimed benefit it was thought that his occupation of needle straightening was an insured occupation and benefit was allowed in that belief. Subsequently a specific question 624 as to the position of needle straighteners came before the Umpire, who at the end of May last decided that needle straightening was not an insured occupation. In accordance with this decision, the previous allowance of benefit to Mr. Crinage was revised in June. The general question of the position of associations in cases where a previous favourable decision given by the Board is revised by them on fresh facts coming to their notice has for some time been under consideration and arrangements will, I hope, shortly be brought into force for reimbursing to the associations, subject to certain conditions, any payments they may have made in such cases.
43. MARQUESS of TULLIBARDINE
asked the President of the Board of Trade what has been the cost to the Government of the abortive inquiry as to whether members of the saw-milling industry should be included in the unemployment section of the National Insurance Act; and if he is able to give an assurance that those engaged in this industry will not be included.
§ Mr. ROBERTSON
The inquiry in question stands adjourned at present in consequence of an expression of opinion by the Commissioner that the proposed Order would be ultra vires on a purely technical point. Proceedings at the instance of the Board of Trade are now pending in the High Court with a view to testing the legal question raised. In these circumstances it is obviously incorrect to describe the inquiry as abortive, and I can certainly give no assurance that the Order will not be made. The cost of the inquiry is not at present ascertainable.
MARQUESS Of TULLIBARDINE
When considering this matter, will the hon. Gentleman remember that all this increased cost on the home manufacture and working of timber is in favour of the foreign manufacturer and grower?