§ 23. Mr. HURD
asked the Minister of Labour how many women and girls are now claiming unemployment benefit under the general classification of domestic service; what in general is the character of their former occupations; and what fresh means are being taken to ensure that local employment committees do not continue 1034 the payment of unemployment benefit to those who are suitable for private domestic service?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The number of women and girls on the live registers of the Employment Exchanges under the general classification of domestic service claiming unemployment benefit on the 13th May were 26,550 and 713 respectively. Their previous employments cover a great variety of women's trades. They must in all cases have been employed for a substantial period in some occupation other than private domestic service, as they would not otherwise be entitled to benefit; 85 per cent. of them were in fact claiming in respect of contributions paid in some insurable employment, other than private domestic service. Constant attention is paid to the possibility of offering domestic service vacancies to applicants on the register, and the local employment committees are scrutinising the list of applicants in order to form a special register of women who, irrespective of their last previous employment, may reasonably be regarded as suitable for private domestic service. I may add that in the first four months of this year 52,400 domestic service vacancies of one kind and another for women have been found by the Employment Exchanges.