HC Deb 06 April 1939 vol 345 cc2963-4
9. Mr. Dingle Foot

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the action of the Unemployment Assistance Board in the case of Mrs. Rose Ann Brown, who was granted a decree of separation and aliment against her husband, on 16th November, 1938; that thereafter the Unemployment Assistance Board took the view that she was not a person whose needs could be taken into account in determining the allowance payable to her husband; that Mrs. Brown has in consequence been compelled to have recourse to public assistance; whether his attention has been called to the opinion recently expressed by the sheriff-substitute of Dundee on the construction of Section 38, Sub-section2, of the Unemployment Act, 1934; and what action he proposes to take to deal with grievances of this sort?

Mr. E. Brown

I am aware of the circumstances of the case to which the hon. Member refers. I understand that by arrangement between the local authority concerned and the solicitor acting for Mrs. Brown, the case was adjourned sine die without judgment being pronounced. I understand that the sheriff-substitute did make certain comments on the functions and powers of the Board, but that in so doing he expressly stated that he had no jurisdiction in that matter. The Unemployment Assistance Act leaves to the appeal tribunals set up under that Act the final decision on any question as to the proper allowance to be paid to an applicant. In the circumstances, I do not propose to take any action in the matter.

Mr. Foot

In view of the importance of the questions raised, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter at the earliest convenient date after the Easter Recess?