HC Deb 20 March 1929 vol 226 cc1721-2
17. Mr. SEXTON

asked the Minister of Labour if his attention has been called to the case of Edward Stevenson, of 18, Glover Street, St. Helens, who has re-received a notice from the local Employment Exchange officer for the repayment of £22 advanced to him as expenses and fares to the Canadian harvest; and if, in view of the fact that his unemployment benefit was suspended while away from home and the comparative scanty earnings in Canada, out of which remittances to his family were sent, he will refrain from pressing for repayment?

The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland)

Edward Stevenson received a loan of £10 for his outward journey to Canada. On the 5th September, while the demand for harvest workers was still unsatisfied, he applied for, and received, at Winnipeg, a further loan of £12 to pay his passage home. These advances were made from public monies, and I am afraid I cannot release him from the responsibility of repayment.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this man got no employment at all in Canada, that he is working on short time in a coal mine here and mortgaging his whole future, and that there is no chance of recovery if this iniquitous demand is persisted in?


Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will give me any further information to that effect. My information, if I remember aright, was that the man had signed a statement saying that he had refused employment at £4 a week. Perhaps the hon. Member had better communicate with me, therefore, to see which is correct.


May I also remind the right hon. Gentleman that this man is the only support of his widowed mother, that his own brother is not on unemployment benefit, and that the whole family is dependent on him?