HC Deb 15 February 1934 vol 285 cc2071-2
26. Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

asked the Minister of Health, if he will issue a circular to local authorities pointing out the undesirability of setting persons in receipt of public assistance to test work during such times as their appeals against disallowance of benefit under the unemployment Insurance Acts are subjudice?


It is not, according to my information, the general practice of Poor Law authorities at the present time to enforce a test of this kind in the limited class of cases mentioned in the question, but I could not properly limit the discretion of the authorities in the manner suggested.

Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

Is not the Minister aware that at least one case has arisen where a man has been placed in the position of having had to do test work for a period in respect of which he has subsequently been awarded transitional payments?


Yes, Sir, I am aware that that case has arisen; in fact, my hon. and gallant Friend himself drew my attention to such a case. But I would point out to him that it may be definitely in the interest of the man himself to provide him with some occupation during such a period.


asked the Minister of Health of he can furnish an estimate for the latest available date of the number of persons, exclusive of dependants, in receipt of public assistance on grounds of unemployment who were not registered at the Employment Exchanges of the Ministry of Labour?


The number of persons, exclusive of dependants, in receipt in England and Wales of out-relief on account of unemployment who were not registered at an Employment Exchange in the first week of February 1931, was ascertained from a special return to be 3,964. There has been no special return since then, but it is estimated that the number at the present time is less than 10,000.


In these circumstances, does the Minister think that public speakers will now abstain from misrepresentations to the effect that people are pushed off the live register on to the Poor Law?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Minister of Labour informed the House that there would be a large increase in the figures as a result of this circumstance, because of the large number who have not been registered?

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