HC Deb 09 March 1939 vol 344 cc2308-9
2. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour whether the Unemployment Assistance Board has requested the advisory committees to interview un employed persons with a view to advising as to whether allowances should be paid in cash or in kind; whether any instructions have been issued to the advisory committees in this matter; and, if so, will he state the nature of the instructions?

Mr. E. Brown

The advisory committees as part of their normal duties consider individual cases referred to them for advice. No instructions in this matter have been issued by the Board, apart from a circular sent to the committees when they were first set up indicating the nature of their functions. I am sending the hon. Member a copy.

Mr. Griffiths

How it is that only now, four years after the Unemployment Assistance Board has been set up, that we have the first cases of this kind?

Mr. Brown

I do not think that is so. Perhaps the hon. Member will see my answer to the next question, which will show what the proportion is.

Mr. T. Smith

May we take it that these cases are only the cases that are described as special cases in the Act of Parliament?

Mr. Brown

There is no doubt about that. They are special cases, and if the hon. Member will take note of the next answer he will see that.

3. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Labour the numbers of unemployed who have been issued allowances in kind by the Unemployment Assistance Board on account of their poor industrial record; what are the circumstances that are taken to establish a poor industrial record; and whether the issue of vouchers is intended as a penalty upon applicants who are alleged to be not genuinely seeking work?

Mr. Brown

Determinations providing for the issue of allowances partly in kind under Section 40 of the Act are not made solely on account of a poor industrial record; but the applicant's industrial record may be one of the factors taken into account in considering all the circumstances of the case as required by the Section. On 28th January last there were in all 733 determinations current which provided for the payment of weekly allowances wholly or partly in kind. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative. I may add that on 28th January the live load consisted of 619,686 cases.

Mr. Griffiths

In his reply the right hon. Gentleman said that the poor industrial record is not taken into consideration. Will he consider certain cases, if I send him particulars, in which the officer admitted that the only reason why relief in kind had been given was because of the poor industrial record of the applicant?

Mr. Brown

I should be glad to have particulars of any case. The hon. Member will understand that in each case there is the right of appeal.

Mr. Lawson

Do I understand that over 600,000 have been paid in kind?

Mr. Brown

No, Sir. Out of 619,686 cases getting allowances only 733 have had assistance in kind.

Mr. A. Jenkins

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what factors other than the applicant's industrial record are taken into consideration?

Mr. Brown

It would take too long to give the answer in reply to a question, but I will send it to the hon. Member, or circulate it in the Official Report.

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