§ 7. Mr. KIRKWOOD
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now in a position to tell the House how much money there 1405 is in the Unemployment Insurance Fund; whether there is a surplus; and, if so, will he use it to help the unemployed to withstand the rigours of winter?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
At 21st November, 1936, the credit balance in the Unemployment Fund was about £37,500,000. No part of this sum can, however, be treated as a disposable surplus unless and until it is so declared by the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee, who are required by statute to report before the end of February next upon the condition of the fund at 31st December, 1936.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that a year ago I asked him, seeing that Christmas was coming on, if he would not give a hundredweight of coal to every unemployed family, and he said he had no money to do that? Now that they have money, will he not help the unemployed to withstand the rigours of winter?