HC Deb 07 March 1923 vol 161 cc477-8

asked the Minister of Labour if he will be prepared to consider, or has considered, a scheme of unemployment relief whereby on every contract or order of the value of £5,000 or over the placer of the contract be credited with half the weekly payment which would otherwise have been paid in full to each unemployed worker, had he not been specifically engaged in connection with such contract, it being made a condition, if necessary, that unemployed men be taken on as far as possible in connection with such work?


I have not seen any scheme precisely on the lines indicated. The recently published Report of the Cabinet Committee—of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy—considered the general question of using unemployment benefit in aid of wages, and points out the grave objections to any such arrangement and I am afraid that similar objections would apply to the proposal mentioned by the hon. Member.

76. Mr. HARDIE

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that a youth of 17½ years of age applied for benefit at the Rutherglen Employment Exchange last week, and gave as his reasons that the wage paid him by Weir's of Cathcart, as a machineman, was 11s. 6d. for 47 hours, with is deducted for insurance and 1s. 6d. for car fares; and whether, since these wages are less than unemployment benefit, he will see that benefit is paid to such cases meantime?


I am making inquiries and will communicate the result to the hon. Member. I may point out, however, that the weekly rate of benefit payable to a boy of 17½ years is 7s. 6d.


While the right hon. Gentleman is making inquiries, will he ask the Noble Lord whether this wage of 11s. 6d. to a young man taking three meals a day is in keeping with his idea of relativity and starvation?

81. Mr. HAYDAY

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will give instructions that, where unemployment benefit has been refused on the ground that the applicant has not produced evidence of search for work, the applicant shall be entitled to a re-hearing to enable him to produce any further evidence?


Refusals of benefit on this ground are invariably the result of a recommendation by the local employment committee. If applicants have any further evidence to bring forward, the committees, so far as I am aware, are always ready to grant. a re-hearing.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say what method is adopted to notify the applicant when his case is being heard that it is necessary for him to produce such evidence?


The practice of the committee is fairly well known in the locality.

83. Mr. SHORT

asked the Minister of Labour the. number of single men who have applied for unemployment benefit, and the number of claims disallowed since 1st July, 1922?


The records kept do not show separately the number of single men who have applied for unemployment benefit since July, 1922, nor the number of such claims which have been disallowed.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the dissatisfaction that arises through disallowing benefit to these men, and will he make. exhaustive inquiries?


I am afraid that every applicant whose application is refused is probably dissatisfied.