HC Deb 20 November 1941 vol 376 cc429-30
8. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the Assistance Board is using Section 36 (1, c) of the Unemployment Assistance Act, 1934, to throw off assistance many unemployed men who are fit for light work, whilst at the same time there appears in the South Wales Press an advertisement asking for 6,000 women for light benchwork; and whether he will offer these vacancies to the thousands of men who are still unemployed and are anxious to fill them?

Mr. Tomlinson

I am informed by the Board that it is not their intention that any applicant should be ruled out of scope if he is in fact able to do light work. No person is ruled out as incapable of work until he has been examined by a doctor, and the man concerned has a right of appeal against the decision of the Board's officer. Moreover, if the man shows that, notwithstanding the medical opinion, he is in fact capable of holding a job for a reasonable period, he would be reinstated, if he again became unemployed. The work to which the Press advertisement relates, though light, demands nimbleness and dexterity, and is particularly suitable for women. Efforts are, however, continually being made by my officers in South Wales to find employment, both in this factory and elsewhere, for unemployed men who are fit only for light work.

Mr. Edwards

Is not my hon. Friend aware that Assistance Board doctors have declared unfit for work men who have since the examination been put into work in ordnance factories?