HC Deb 06 December 1920 vol 135 cc1724-5
49. Sir F. HALL

asked the Prim-Minister whether it is proposed to take early action to carry out the economies in the working of the Employment Exchanges recommended by the Committee of Inquiry who have just reported; and if, in view of his recent declaration in favour of immediate and relentless economy, steps will be taken to secure a reduction in the expenditure on the Exchanges during the current financial year?


to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Sir Montague Barlow): I have been asked to reply. Immediate action will be taken to deal with the recommendations of this Committee and to effect economies which I hope may prove to be possible and on the lines laid down by the Committee. I would remind my hon. and gallant Friend, however, that at the moment a very heavy burden falls upon the Exchanges on account of the great and increasing amount of unemployment, also that the new Unemployment Insurance Act increases the number of insured persons from about 4,000,000 to about 12,000,000; and, for the great part, unemployment insurance benefit is paid by the local Employment Exchanges.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a lot of this unemployment might be done away with if the Government would take the necessary steps to protect many industries in this country, such as toys and baskets?


The hon. Member is resuming a Debate which I have already said is not in order.