HC Deb 04 February 1963 vol 671 cc8-9
10. Mr. Milne

asked the Minister of Labour what was the number of persons signing on at employment exchanges in Northumberland in the last three months of 1962; how many had their unemployment pay suspended for six weeks or a lesser period; and what percentage this represented of the total.

Mr. Whitelaw

During the period 1st October to 5th January, there were 20,809 claims for unemployment benefit. Figures for calendar months are not available. The number of disqualifications under Section 13 (2) of the National Insurance Act, 1946, during the three calendar months October to December were 1,767, but some of these would relate to claims made earlier than October. The figures are not, therefore, directly comparable, and it would be misleading to express one as a percentage of the other. The number of disqualifications in relation to claimants is, however, about average.

Mr. Milne

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the figure of over 1,000, whilst not capable of being reflected in terms of percentages, is nevertheless a little too high and that in many cases young people and others signing on for the first time are somewhat inhibited in their claims by virtue of the fact that if they make criticisms of their previous employer they are often notified at the labour exchange that this may lead to a court case and in many cases they then withdraw their statement? There are a number in my constituency who have been refused payment as a result of this. Would he agree that this aspect of the matter requires looking into?

Mr. Whitelaw

I will certainly note what the hon. Member says. He knows as well as I do the various methods of appeal that are available. I think that in general they are satisfactory, but what the hon. Member says represents a rather new aspect.

Forward to