HC Deb 09 July 1923 vol 166 cc929-30

asked the Minister of Labour if his attention has been drawn to the disturbances which have taken place at Whitehaven in connection with the coal-miners' strike there; if he is aware of the fact that these disturbances have to a large degree been accentuated by reason of some 800 men who, though employed at the collieries where the dispute exists, are in no way concerned in the dispute, but who have been turned off their work and refused out-of-work benefit by the local unemployment committee; and will he contribute towards the restoration of peace in the town by authorising the payment to the 800 men above referred to?


I have no information leading me to suppose that the disturbances at Whitehaven can fairly be attributed to the cause suggested by the hon. Member. In any event the decision on claims to unemployment benefit affected by a trade dispute must be given in accordance with the Unemployment Insurance Acts through the machinery of the insurance officer, court of referees and the umpire. I understand that benefit in most cases has been disallowed by the insurance officer and the court of referees, but that a number of appeals are to be heard by the umpire on Wednesday next.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these men in the main are safety men who are not concerned with the dispute between the underground workers and the employers?


I was not aware of the facts put by the hon. Member. In any case I have no doubt that these considerations will be taken into account by the umpire when he comes to give his decision.