HC Deb 02 November 1938 vol 340 cc199-200
30. Mr. Annesley Somerville (for Mr. Lyons)

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether in the recent discussions with the Government of Australia with reference to British migration, any proposals were, or are, under consideration to safeguard the continuance or capitalisation of unemployment and social service benefits in the case of British insured persons?

Mr. M. MacDonald

I am glad to say that provision to facilitate reciprocity has been made in the Australian Commonwealth National Health and Pensions Insurance Act which was passed this summer. The Departments concerned in this country now have this provision under consideration, with a view to arrangements being concluded under which, in determining the position of a migrant passing from the insurance scheme of one country to that of the other, account will be taken of his insurance under the former scheme. The legislation in the Commonwealth of Australia does not extend to unemployment insurance.

Mr. Somerville

Does that mean that the arrangements will be reciprocal?

Mr. MacDonald

If we can get satisfactory provision it is our intention to make the arrangement reciprocal.

Mr. T. Smith

Can the right hon. Gentleman see when these arrangements are made that they will not be limited to Australia, but will be extended to other Dominions?

Mr. MacDonald

I should require notice of that question. A great deal depends upon the nature of the insurance schemes.