HC Deb 05 May 1952 vol 500 cc1-2
1. Mr. Patrick Maitland

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he will consider introducing legislation to extend the insurance of self-employed persons to cover unemployment benefit.

The Minister of National Insurance (Mr. Osbert Peake)

No, Sir. It has never been considered practicable to extend insurance against unemployment to self-employed persons.

Mr. Maitland

Will not my right hon. Friend set on foot studies of this matter, which might provide justice for those who are already compelled to contribute to National Insurance and which, secondly, might stimulate private enterprise among small traders and other persons?

Mr. Peake

I assure my hon. Friend that this question received the most prolonged study when we were considering the Beveridge Report during the years of the war. I regret to say it was the unanimous conclusion that it was impracticable to bring in these persons for unemployment benefit.

Mr. Maitland

Cannot this matter be investigated further? Nothing is impossible to those who have the will.