HC Deb 10 December 1928 vol 223 cc1699-700
56. Mr. C. EDWARDS

asked the Minister of Labour how much money he has received out of the miners' relief fund towards transferring persons to other places; whether those transferred have to refund the cost of such transfers to the Unemployment Fund; and will he take steps to secure that this charge shall be borne by the State funds so that no more money shall be taken from this source, which has subscribed to relieve families at home?


I presume the hon. Member is referring to the Lord Major's Fund. A sum of £15,350 has been allocated from this Fund for the purpose of making up, in appropriate cases, part of the difference between the initial wages of a boy transferred from a distressed mining area and his living expenses, on condition that the employer also makes an extra payment for this purpose. No refund is asked for. The payments are in accordance with one of the declared objects of the Lord Mayor's Fund.


Since transference is the policy of the Government ought not the money to be found from national funds and not out of this particular fund, which was initiated in order to alleviate destitution and poverty?


The hon. Member seems to be under a misapprehension. In the letters from the last Lord Mayor and the present Lord Mayor the object of the fund was explicitly stated.


Is the money which is paid for juveniles who are transferred paid to the employers and then paid to the juveniles?


No, it is paid to the juveniles, but some contribution is also made by the employers before any payment is made.


In view of the fact that the Government have not seen their way clear to grant anything to this Fund, is it asking too much that at least they should find the money necessary for the transference of these people?


That is really the same question in another form which was put to the Prime Minister. The objects of the Fund are clearly stated in the letters issued by the last Lord Mayor and the present Lord Mayor.


Is there any fixed proportion laid down as to the amount that will be paid by the employer in these cases?


No, Sir, not that I am aware of.


Does the hon. Member think that it is going to help charity if people who have given money know that they are subsidising wages?


Does this mean that this money is to be used for furthering a scheme for which the Government is going to claim credit?