HC Deb 09 April 1919 vol 114 cc2013-5
28. Lieutenant-Colonel Sir S. HOARE

asked the Minister of Labour what is the number for the latest available week of men, women, boys, and girls drawing unemployment donation; and what is the amount they are receiving?


The number of men, boys, women, and girls who drew unemployment donation during the week ended 28th March, 1919, are:

Civilians. H.M. Forces. Total.
Men 209,486 305,251 514,737
Boys 26,461 26,461
Women 488,655 1,012 489,667
Girls 29,380 29,380
Grand total 1,060,245
During the week the amount of donation paid was approximately £1,250,000.

Lieutenant - Colonel Sir S. HOARE

Would it not be better to expedite public works and find work for these people rather than pay this enormous sum in unemployment donation?


I entirely agree with the suggestion of my hon. Friend that it would be better to expedite work, and this is being done.

Captain R. TERRELL

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are a large number of laundries in this country which are unable to get women workers to-day?


I am aware that there are a number of laundries which have not workwomen to-day, but difficulties arise in connection with the wages that are asked.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in many instances these unemployment donations have become incentives to idleness and to preying upon the public purse?


I am afraid it is true that there is a certain amount of abuse of the unemployment donation, and I should be glad if hon. Members would furnish me with particulars of any cases that come to their notice.


asked the Minister of Labour the total number of persons who have since 21st November drawn the out-of-work donation, the total amount paid cut in donations, the number of applications received up to date for an extension or renewal of policies, and the number of applications granted; if in a large number of cases the unemployment donation has been improperly applied for and carelessly granted; and if he can form any estimate of the number of cases in which it has been so granted?


The number of individuals who have at any time drawn donation cannot be precisely stated. The number of persons actually in receipt of unemployment donation on the 21st March was 738,000 civilians and 265,000 ex-members of His Majesty's Forces. The amount paid out in donation up to the 21st March was about £10,000,000 for civilians and £2,000,000 for ex-members of His Majesty's Forces. On the 26th March 45,319 applications for renewal of policies had been received. Of this number 24,360 had been granted and 7,906 rejected; 13,053 were still under consideration. As to the last part of the question, I am aware that there are many complaints that unemployment donation is improperly obtained. I have no statistics on the subject, but I shall welcome the opportunity of making inquiries into any specific cases which may come to the notice of hon. Members, if they will give me the facts.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman remember that I did give him a specific case about a fortnight ago, and is he aware that I have had no answer?


The case given me by the right hon. Baronet is being gone into.

Lieutenant-Commander F. ASTBURY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Lancashire men are refusing to work after Wednesday night in order that they may receive the three days' out-of-work donation, and that with the out-of-work donation their total wages come to 57s. 6d. per week with 3s. for the first child and 1s. 6d. for other children?


I am not aware of the facts as stated by the hon. Member. There is, I know, very great depression in the cotton trade in Lancashire, which is caused directly by the policy of the country, and, if the hon. Member will give me the facts to which he refers, I will inquire into them.

Lieutenant-Commander ASTBURY

I will send them to the right hon. Gentleman.