§ 18. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has any figures he can give the House showing the numbers of British seamen, firemen, cooks, and stewards at present unemployed; and the number of British ships' officers without employment?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of LABOUR (Mr. Betterton)
I have been asked to reply. The number of seamen, firemen, cooks, stewards and other workers employed on board ships, registered as unemployed at Employment Exchanges in Great Britain at 2nd March, 1925, was 17,841. It is not possible to give separate statistics for the various categories mentioned, or for ships' officers not insurable under the Unemployment Insurance Acts.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
I am very much obliged to the hon. Gentleman. Can he tell me what is the position of ships' officers? Are there no suggestions at all with regard to them?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
The position as regards ships' officers is this: If an officer is in receipt of more than £250 a year he does not come under the Act at all. If he is in receipt of less than £250 a year it depends in each particular case upon whether he falls within the First Schedule of the Act of 1920, and it depends, therefore, upon the circumstances of each case.
§ Mr. B. SMITH
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the term "British seamen" in the question covers Lascars as well as whites?
§ Commander BELLAIRS
Are not these figures vitiated to a very large extent by the regular practice of ships, after a half-yearly voyage, discharging their men and re-engaging them a month afterwards, after they have really been on holiday?