HC Deb 24 June 1937 vol 325 cc1346-7
3. Mr. Tinker

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make inquiries into the case of Edward Higham, Baker Street, Leigh, who was unemployed, with over 20 stamps on his card for the previous two years, was sent by the Leigh Employment Exchange to work on the Leigh Sewerage Board doing drainage work and, after working there a number of weeks, was told the stamps put on for him will come under the agricultural scheme, and now the job is finished, owing to the misunderstanding about the grade of work, although he has over 30 stamps for the two years, is unable to draw standard benefit?

Mr. E. Brown

I have already made inquiries into this case and have written to the hon. Member explaining the circumstances. If he desires any further information regarding it, perhaps he will let me know.

Mr. Tinker

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this kind of case, when a man passes from one grade to another, will create serious difficulties, and is there no way by which it can be met?

Mr. Brown

I do not think it will create serious difficulties. This is a matter of principle which was decided on the passing of the Bill. It is one of the most difficult questions of insurance, and we came to the conclusion—and the House agreed—that it was better on the whole to do it this way because of the circumstances of the Agricultural Fund. There are many more workers who benefit from this arrangement than experience difficulty because of it.

Mr. Thorne

In view of the difficulties, would it not be better to insure everybody who is working for wages and salaries?

Mr. Brown

The point here is that the man was at one time insured in an industrial scheme and at another time in the agricultural scheme.

Mr. Tinker

In view of the seriousness of the case, I give notice that I shall raise it on the Adjournment.