§ 76. Mr. LAWSON
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will issue the report of the investigation made by the Unemployment Assistance Board into the reasons for the breakdown of the Regulations in January, 1935; and whether he will make this report available to Members at an early date, in order to inform them on the points of difficulty that were responsible for the breakdown?
§ Mr. E. BROWN
No, Sir, this report is confidential. In accordance with the undertakings I have given, the House has been furnished with memoranda for the purpose of enabling it to judge of the effect of the draft Regulations now proposed. This is in addition to the very full information provided in the Board's first annual report. If requests are made for further information on specific points I shall be prepared to consider them.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is absolutely no information in the hands of Members as to the causes of the breakdown, and that he led the House to believe they would have some information on that point?
§ 77. Mr. LAWSON
asked the Minister of Labour why the amount fixed for a man and wife is 24s. under the Unemployment Assistance Board, which is less than that granted to similar couples as unemployment benefit?
§ Mr. BROWN
I presume that the hon. Member is referring to the draft Unemployment Assistance Regulations now before this House. I am glad that he has given me an opportunity of making it clear that in all those cases in which this figure is of most importance, namely those of householders with dependants and with no available resources, the basic figure for man and wife under the draft Regulations will be, not 24s. but 26s. This is explained in paragraphs 45 to 47 of the Board's Explanatory Memorandum (Cmd. 5229) and paragraphs 3 and 7 of the Ministers Memorandum (Cmd. 5228), where fuller details are given. I may 1880 add that both these figures are subject to adjustment on account of rent and other matters in the light of advice given by the local advisory committees, and for this reason no accurate comparison can be made with the rates of unemployment benefit which, as the hon. Member knows, are fixed for all cases and in particular cannot be increased to meet high rent and other special needs.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what is the amount for a mother and father in a case where one son is working?
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is it not a fact that the standard of need in that case is 24s.; and is it not true that the unemployment benefit 26s. standard has always been stated as to be not sufficient? Why is 24s. the standard in the other case?