§ 48. Mr. TINKER
asked the Prime Minister to what extent the cost of living must rise before he will consider increasing the unemployment, benefits?
§ The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)
I cannot deal with a purely hypothetical question. For the general position, I would refer the hon. Member to the discussions on the National Economy Bill, especially the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour on the 28th September last.
§ Mr. TINKER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he made great play about the cost-of-living when he talked about the reduction of benefit, and is it not time that we knew something about the position if the cost-of-living should rise?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
That is a different point. That is a purely hypothetical question. There is a relation, but it is not purely mathematical.
§ Mr. A. BEVAN
Is it not desirable for the right hon. Gentleman to arm himself with powers before the Adjournment, in order that he might be able to make an adjustment with regard to the cost-of-living?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
In view of the Prime Minister's statement that the question of rent was playing a very important part in regard to unemployment benefit, will the right hon. Gentleman say if he has yet come to any decision as to what can be done to ease the problem of rents for the unemployed?