HC Deb 21 January 1943 vol 386 c274
3. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered the passage in the Report of the Unemployment Insurance Statutory Committee for 1941 in the course of which they state that it is arguable that Section 59 (2) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1935, should be regarded as suspended during the war; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?

Mr. Bevin

In the passage to which my hon. Friend refers the Committee call attention to the difficulty, in existing circumstances, of making the comparison between the resources and prospective liabilities of the Unemployment Fund which is necessary before a surplus or a deficiency can be reported for the purposes of Section 59 (2) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1935. I am satisfied that during the course of the war no further comparison of this kind can usefully be attempted and the Committee ought not to be expected to make it. I propose, therefore, with the concurrence of the Treasury, to make a Regulation suspending for the duration of the war the provisions of Section 59 (2), and certain other parts of Section 59 which are dependent upon this Sub-section. I should add that under Section 59 as amended the Committee will still be required to make an annual report on the financial condition of the Unemployment Fund and that this report will be laid before Parliament as heretofore.

Mr. Austin Hopkinson

May I ask whether that will involve legislation?

Mr. Bevin

No, it will be done by Regulation for the period of the war.