§ 12. Major Sir KEITH FRASER
asked the Minister of Labour what is the annual 2136 cost to the State of the fees and expenses paid to labour and trade union representatives for attendance at Unemployment Committees and other Committees in connection with the Unemployment Exchanges; and if, in the interests of economy, he will take steps to discontinue this outlay, especially having regard to the fact that representatives of the trade unions in many cases utilise their position to induce persons interviewed to join trade unions?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
No fees are paid to chairmen or members of Local Employment Committees of the Employment Department of the Ministry of Labour. The total cost for all members of travelling expenses and allowances for subsistence and lost time for the year ended 31st March, 1921, was £18,791, but the records of the Department do not show what proportion of this total was paid to workpeople's representatives. At the present time the interviewing of applicants occurs in the main at meetings of rota Sub-committees in pursuance of their statutory function of considering applications to benefit under Section 3 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1921, and the examination of these claims by the rota Committees has undoubtedly led to a very great saving of public funds. I have no reason to believe that representatives of trade unions take advantage of their position in the manner suggested in the question.