HC Deb 22 April 1947 vol 436 cc786-7
16 and 17. Dr. Barnett Stross

asked the Minister of National Insurance (1) what is the percentage of men and women on the register of the Unemployment Assistance Board in North Staffordshire who are no longer considered to be fit for normal work; and whether he will give a classified list of the incapacitating causes;

(2) if he will state the total number of men and women registered in North Staffs with the Unemployment Assistance Board for the month of March, 1947; what age groups, in terms of 10-yearly intervals, they fall under; and the approximate duration of unemployment in each class.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The average weekly numbers of payments of unemployment assistance at employment exchanges in North Staffordshire in the four weeks ended 11th April, 1947, were 557 to men and 14 to women. These figures include 165 payments in supplementation of unemployment benefit. The other information asked for could only be obtained by special investigation but some of it will, I hope, become available from an inquiry which the Board are now making. I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as the results are before me.

Dr. Stross

Is my right hon. Friend aware that we have in the staple industries in North Staffordshire an appreciable number of men who have suffered from industrial disease, particularly silicosis, who are compelled to go on working because there is no alternative suitable employment; and does he appreciate that I am asking these two Questions to obtain evidence upon which to ask for a shelter factory for such people; and if I obtain the evidence will he give all assistance?

Mr. Griffiths

We have recently brought the new unemployment benefit into operation, and I have been disturbed by the number of persons who have not been able to find employment over a long period. They number several thousands. We are making a special inquiry into these cases, and I hope shortly to be able to make the results of that inquiry known.