HC Deb 18 October 1916 vol 86 cc553-4
69. Mr. P. MEEHAN

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the officials of local Labour Exchanges in Ireland have intimated to skilled workers in receipt of weekly unemployment benefits that there is work available for them as labourers in England, and that if they refuse to accept these positions in England as labourers the payment of their weekly unemployment benefits will be stopped; and whether it was by the instructions of the Board of Trade that this intimation has been issued in Ireland?


No instructions to this effect have been issued by the Board of Trade. The Umpire has, however, decided that in certain cases skilled workmen who are likely to be out of work indefinitely in their own trade shall not continue to receive unemployment benefit if work as labourers at a satisfactory rate of wages is available. Such cases are not frequent, and so far as I am aware there has only been one recent case of this description in Ireland. In this case a mason who has been on unemployment benefit for over ten weeks has been asked to take labouring work. There was also a case where five Belfast painters refused an offer of work at red-leading in England, and where the Umpire decided against the continuance of their unemployment benefit.