HC Deb 28 April 1938 vol 335 cc280-1
11. Mr. Robert Gibson

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the rate of pay of coppersmiths at the royal naval torpedo factory at Greenock, and at the supplementary establishment at Alexandria, is less than the ordinary rate for the district; and if, in these circumstances, he will ensure that unemployed coppersmiths in that district who refuse such employment shall still be eligible for standard benefit?

Mr. E. Brown

In reply to the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. and learned Member to the reply by the First Lord of the Admiralty to his question on 6th April. As regards the second part of the question, claims for unemployment benefit are determined by the statutory authorities in the light of the facts of each case under the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Acts.

Mr. Gibson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some 65 per cent. of those concerned at Greenock and Alexandria are under the district rate and might not his Department be materially affected?

Mr. Brown

As the hon. and learned Member knows from the full answer given to him by my right hon. colleague, in the arrangements affecting these men in Government factories a common standard is applied to all. The hon. and learned Member cannot have it both ways. It may be that in some places the advantage is the other way about.

Mr. Gibson

But I am asking as to the effect this may have on the right hon. Gentleman's own Department.