§ 9.53 p.m.
§ Mr. G. Griffiths
On a point of Order. I understood that the Amendment standing in my name—in page 1, line 8, at the end, to insert "with pay "—was to be called.
§ Mr. Lawson
On a point of Order. This Amendment of ours is really of very great substance, and as a matter of fact it would be quite impossible to discuss the Clause properly without considering the aspect that is put in this Amendment. I am not in a position to give reasons for or to speak to the Amendment, but I want to say that we feel that we are very much hampered and that it will be quite impossible to put the case against this first Clause without this Amendment being called.
It is not in order to complain of arbitrary selection of Amendments by the Chair.
§ Mr. Griffiths
On the point of Order. I think I must be crooked to-night, because this is the fourth time I have been up against you, Sir, and I do not like it, but as my hon. Friend the Member for Chester-le-Street (Mr. Lawson) has said, this is the most important Amendment to the Bill.
§ 9.55 p.m.
§ Mr. E. Brown
I beg to move, in page 2, line 42, after "under," to insert "the foregoing provisions of."
May I ask your indulgence, Sir, if I take this and the next Amendment together? The first prepares the way for the second. I think I shall have the good will of the whole House, because this is a matter of considerable importance to mining Members, especially in South Wales. As the House will have judged by the discussions upstairs and to-day, there are a number of things under the present law which will require clearing up whatever view they take of the present Bill. This is an Amendment to deal with diff- 321 culties which have arisen because of an umpire's decision at the end of last year and, as the Bill cannot operate until 18th January next, it cannot be put right except in this way. In the case in question a miner had been indefinitely suspended from work for eight weeks when the holidays applicable to his employment occurred. It was held by the umpire, notwithstanding that the period of suspension had exceeded 12 working days, that the man could not be regarded as unemployed because his agreement provided for the giving of 14 days' notice of termination of employment, and such notice had not been given. That had not been the general practice before that, but this makes it binding for the holiday season which is now upon us. I think the House will agree that I am right in asking for this temporary power to put it right now.
§ Mr. Lawson
I think it is a good thing, and quite sound, that the right hon. Gentleman is taking this power. I have had an opportunity of examining the case, and I understand that the umpire has set the 12 days rule aside merely because the man has not given his 14 days' notice, and the right hon. Gentleman is taking steps to deal with that.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Brown
I beg to move, in page 3, line 2, at the end, to insert:(8) Pending the coming into operation of any regulations made under the foregoing provisions of this section, the Minister may by regulations provide that, for the purpose of any claim to benefit by an insured contributor, he shall, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as may be specified in the regulations, be deemed to be unemployed on any recognised or customary holiday occurring during a period for which his employment is suspended, being a period consisting of not less than fourteen consecutive days exclusive of such holidays.
§ Amendment agreed to.