HC Deb 07 April 1938 vol 334 cc493-5
9. Mr. Thorne

asked the Minister of Labour the reason why the weekly allowance was stopped in the case of a woman who broadcast how she fed her family on 10s. 2½d. per week; will he inquire what the fee was that she received and how much she paid out of the fee to an agent; and what action he intends taking about the matter?

Mr. E. Brown

I assume the hon. Member refers to the case of Mrs. Yates. This applicant reported earning from broadcasting last week three guineas. It is understood that no agency fees are payable out of this amount. She has also reported that she received at the week-end a payment of five guineas, after deduction of agency fees, for publicity work. These net receipts of eight guineas are being taken into account by the Board to the extent of 36s., setting off the allowance otherwise payable last week and this week. Mrs. Yates' husband is in receipt of unemployment benefit of £1 a week.

Mr. Thorne

Where did the right hon. Gentleman get his information that this woman received five guineas? It is contrary to my information.

Mr. Brown

The facts which have been reported in the Press are not quite accurate. The statements which I have made are based upon statements made by Mrs. Yates herself to the Board's officer.

Mr. Thorne

Is the Minister aware that the statements made to the "Sunday Express" representative were made in her own house, and that there must be something in those statements?

Mr. Brown

I can only say that the answer which I have given is based upon statements made by Mrs. Yates herself to the Board's officer.

Mr. Gallagher

Can the Minister explain how it comes about that a woman gets five guineas because she is able to keep her family on 10s. 2½d per week?

11. Mr. Robert Gibson

asked the Minister of Labour for what reason there has been a general reduction in the allowance paid at the Employment Exchange, Greenock, to single men from 17s. to 15s.; and whether he has any statement to make on the position?

Mr. Brown

I am informed by the Board that there has been no general reduction in Greenock in the allowances of men living otherwise than as members of households from 17s. to 15s. Such reductions are, however, being made in about 100 cases under the statutory regulations providing for the transition from the "standstill," and in accordance with the recommendations of the local advisory committee. It is always open to an aggrieved applicant to exercise his right of appeal to the appeal tribunal, but the matter is not one in which I have any authority to intervene.

Mr. Gibson

Has the right hon. Gentleman any statement to make with regard to the reservists who, after the speech of the Secretary of State for War, had their weekly allowance reduced from 17s. to 15S.?

Mr. Brown

That raises another question.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Are the Unemployment Assistance Board taking these cases into consideration in connection with the circular relating to the increased cost of living? This payment of 15s. was fixed a long time ago.

Mr. Brown

I have already told the House on several occasions that allowances are given on the merits of each case, according to the need.

Mr. Buchanan

Is it not a fact that the circular issued in connection with the increased cost of living definitely rules out single men?

Mr. Brown

I have already pointed out the position.

Mr. George Hall

Are there not thousands of single men over 21 years of age, who, as the result of the "standstill" suffered a reduction from 17s. to 10s. a week, and does the right hon. Gentleman think that 10s. a week is sufficient?

Mr. Brown

I have already dealt with that part of the question. Parliament decided the matter years ago.