HC Deb 15 February 1940 vol 357 cc917-8
1. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Minister of Labour what steps have been taken to inform unemployed persons, and particularly new claimants to standard benefit, of their rights in respect of winter allowance?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)

The general principles on which the Board proceed in regard to winter allowances have been announced each year in this House, and such announcements have been given wide publicity in the Press. As regards persons on standard benefit, posters are exhibited in all Employment Exchanges informing applicants that assistance may be granted to persons who are within the scope of the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1934 (including persons in receipt of benefit) and who can prove that they are in need. Where such assistance is granted by the Unemployment Assistance Board, winter additions are made in appropriate cases without requiring the applicant to make a special request for such an addition.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Minister aware that during the recent bad weather there were many new claimants, and that many of these claimants have no knowledge that they could get supplementary benefit?

Mr. Brown

I am surprised at that, but I am glad the hon. Member has made it clear.

Mr. Kirkwood

Will the Minister do what he can to let it be known that the unemployed have every right, particularly during the terrible winter through which we are passing, to make application for extra assistance?

Mr. Brown

Yes; but, in spite of what the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) suggests, these people are not so uninformed on these matters.