§ 43. Mr. SEXTON
asked the Minister of Labour if his attention has been called to the case of A. W. Punshon, of 165, Duke Street, St. Helens, who, as caretaker of an elementary school, was informed that he would be included as a workman in the Unemployed Insurance Act, 1920, and would be required to contribute in accordance with its provisions and who, on making application lately for unemployed benefit for which he was compelled to contribute, is informed that, owing to a recent legal decision in the Law Courts, he is not a workman within the meaning of the Act; and, in view of the fact that the man has contributed to the Act and his right to benefit has been admitted by his having received benefit for one or two periods of unemployment previously, and that he is now entirely dependent on relief, will he take the necessary steps to compensate the man?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Caretakers of elementary schools were originally regarded as insurable, but under a recent decision of the High Court, which is final 1887 and conclusive, they are held not to be insurable. Consequently no benefit is payable in respect of employment in that capacity. As Mr. Punshon has apparently received benefit to which, strictly speaking, he was not entitled I cannot agree that he has any claim to compensation, but if he has paid more in contributions than he has received in benefit he may apply for a refund of the balance.
§ Mr. SEXTON
Was it not on the initiative of the right hon. Gentleman's Department that these proceedings were taken in the High Court, and, if so, why?
§ Mr. SEXTON
I suppose we are to assume that it is the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau in this case?