§ 61. Mr. PENNEFATHER
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many of the 124,000 persons wholly or partially unemployed in Ireland are drawing unemployment benefit or out-of-work donation, and what the recent average weekly expenditure has been on this account; how many local authorities in Ireland have made application to the Unemployment 1126 Grants Committee for contributions to approved relief works, and how many have not made such application; and whether many non-applications are due to objections to the conditions imposed; if so, what are these conditions which stand in the way of relief of unemployment?
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Dr. Macnamara)
I have been asked to reply. The number claiming unemployment benefit or out-of-work donation in Ireland on the 11th February was 70,492. In addition, 42,583 unemployment books or out-of-work donation policies were lodged in respect of persons employed under systematic short-time arrangements. The average weekly expenditure in benefit and donation for the period of six weeks ending on the 11th February was £43,668.
I am informed that ten local authorities in Ireland have made application to the Unemployment Grants Committee for financial assistance in respect of approved relief works. The number of local authorities who have not submitted applications, although circularised by the Unemployment Grants Committee, is 151. I do not know how far the small number of applications is due to objections to the conditions governing the distribution of the fund administered by the Unemployment Grants Committee. I am sending my hon. Friend copies of the circular letters in which the conditions are described.
§ Mr. PENNEFATHER
Am I to understand that the situation as to unemployment in Ireland would be greatly relieved if these 150 local bodies complied with the conditions laid down by the Government?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The committee has got the money, and if the local authorities put up useful schemes of public work they would be eligible to receive it, but 151 of them have not done so, and ten have.
§ Mr. DEVLIN
Will the right hon. Gentleman's Department make a grant to the owners of the factories and other property in the town of Balbriggan to enable them to bring back the workers who wore driven out because of the destruction of their property by the armed forces of the Crown?