§ 6. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Minister of Labour when he expects to receive the report of the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee; and whether the House will be given an opportunity of considering the report before he decides his policy?
§ Mr. E. Brown
Under Section 59 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1935, the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee are bound to report to me before the end of February on the financial condition of the Unemployment Fund as at the end of the preceding December. In accordance with the provisions of that Section I shall lay the report before Parliament, and, if the Committee report that changes in the Unemployment Insurance Scheme are required to balance the income and expenditure of the Unemployment Fund, I shall in accordance with the Act lay before Parliament for approval a Draft Order to make the necessary adjustment.
§ Mr. Smith
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the fact that in the past the publication of this report has prejudiced the consideration given to it by this House, and will he bear in mind that this House represents the people of the 351 country and not a committee? Will he further bear in mind that there is a huge surplus in the Fund and a great need for an increase in unemployment benefit?
§ Mr. Kirkwood
As the Minister says that the Committee has been of great service to the House, will he say whether the Committee has recommended any increase of benefit for the unemployed?
§ Mr. George Griffiths
When the right hon. Gentleman gets this report will he allow it to be discussed by the House, whether he agrees with it or not, before he sends it back to the Committee?