§ 26. Mr. HAYDAY
asked the Minister of Labour whether it is with his approval that men in receipt of unemployment benefit are disqualified for continuing to serve on the workers' panel for the courts of referees or on the rota committees of the local employment committees; whether he is aware that a very large percentage of the men who have experience of this work are at present out of employment and in receipt of benefit; and whether, in view of the fact that the disqualification of these men is detrimental to the smooth work of administering unemployment insurance, he will reconsider this matter?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
This rule was laid down by me after careful consideration of all the circumstances. In spite of the inconvenience to which it must necessarily give rise when so many persons are unemployed, I am satisfied that for the sake of retaining public confidence in the administration of unemployment benefit it is essential that persons who are themselves in receipt of benefit should not be called upon to adjudicate on claims made by others. I may add that I have endeavoured to meet the difficulties suggested by my hon. Friend by allowing the Local Employment Committees to co-opt, for work on the Rota Committees, substitutes for the members who are temporarily debarred from acting.
§ Mr. HAYDAY
Does the right hon. Gentleman not feel that, while his action may give some confidence to the public, yet it weakens the confidence of the appellants who have to appear before these Committees?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
No. I have given the matter careful consideration. I felt 1176 I could not put upon a man who is drawing benefit the task of saying whether another man should or should not have it. To meet the situation I said to the organisation sending us such a man, "Can you send us another instead, for the time being?"