§ 5. Mr. Prentice
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will introduce regulations to enable unemployment benefit to be paid to fishermen and other seamen while taking approved pilots' courses, on the same terms as members of the Merchant Navy who take other forms of training.
§ Mr. Prentice
While the unemployment benefit arrangements for merchant seamen may be a little unusual, can the hon. Lady suggest any reason why there should be this distinction between those who are members of the Merchant Navy and those who take pilots' courses? Ought not this to be looked into again to remove the sense of unfairness which exists?
§ Mrs. Thatcher
As the hon. Gentleman is aware, the arrangements made for members of the Merchant Navy were an anomaly and, as such, I do not think they should be extended. They amount, in fact, to using unemployment insurance to subsidise the training of people in the Merchant Navy.