HC Deb 10 December 1919 vol 122 cc1301-2
28. Sir W. DAVISON

asked the Minister of Labour whether the unemployment donation is withdrawn from a demobilised soldier who apprentices himself to a firm to learn a trade, even though he receives no pay; and whether he will reconsider this Regulation with a view to encouraging discharged soldiers to become skilled workmen and to cease to be a charge on the State?


The payment of out-of-work donation to persons who are in employment, even though receiving no wages, would be open to grave objection; but ex-Service men undergoing apprenticeship or other forms of training are in general provided for under the allowances given by the training Department of the Ministry of Labour. I do not know of cases such as the hon. Member refers to, but if he has any specific instances in mind and will send me particulars I will be glad to make inquiries into them.

36. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that workmen who are unemployed from engineering and other establishments in consequence of the ironfounders' dispute are entitled to receive unemployment benefit from the State and have their health insurance cards cleared, whereas workmen not in dispute who are stopped from working at an establishment where moulders are employed are not entitled to unemployment benefit and are getting into arrears with their health insurance; and if he will take action with a view to removing this inequality of treatment?


I have been asked to reply to this question. The rules in accordance with which claims to unemployment benefit are decided in cases of unemployment caused by a trade dispute were explained in reply to the question, put by the hon. Member on 27th October. They were drawn up after very careful consideration when the Statutes relating to unemployment insurance and health insurance was passed, and I cannot undertake to propose that they should be altered in this special case.


I do not think my right hon. Friend has answered the question. Is he aware that, in consequence of a large number of labourers being thrown out of employment through the moulders' strike, and not being in a position to receive any unemployment benefit, they are getting into arrears with their insurance cards, and will eventually be entirely out of benefit, and cannot he see his way clear to have their cards cleared, so as to keep them in benefit?


I think I did answer the question, but I will try to answer it further by having a consultation with the Minister of Health to see whether any way can be devised. It is obvious that the two Departments will require to work together for this purpose. At present we are acting according to the ordinary rules which were laid down some years ago.