HC Deb 22 June 1921 vol 143 cc1342-3

asked the, Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the case of R. Richardson and C. Coglan, who were engaged in sinking a new mine near Consett, County Durham, and were thrown out of work by the coal dispute; whether they were refused unemployment benefit, but appealed to a court of referees and won their appeal; whether they were refused their travelling expenses to the place of hearing, and had to walk there and back about 10 miles each way; and whether they are still refused unemployment pay, though there are about 13 weeks' arrears due to them, and one of the men has been turned out of his lodgings because he has no means to pay his rent?


My attention has previously been called to the cases of the two men in question, and, as my hon. Friend knows, I have been in communication with him on the subject. Contributors voluntarily attending the hearing of their own appeals are, under the Regulations, not entitled to travelling expenses, and are so informed when notified of the time and place of the hearing. Whilst the Court of Referees were of opinion that these appeals should be allowed, they did not recommend interim payment of benefit pending an appeal to the Umpire. The Umpire has now decided that the claims in question should be disallowed under Section 8 (1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920. The Umpire's decision, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, is final and conclusive, and I have no power to re-open the matter.


Were these men told at the hearing that they might apply for their travelling expenses if their evidence was of any value to the findings?


I cannot answer that question without notice.