HC Deb 17 June 1963 vol 679 cc2-3
2. Mr. D. Foot

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he has now decided to refer to his Advisory Committee the question of unemployment benefit payable to workers on short time.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

This question was comprehensively examined by the National Insurance Advisory Committee in 1955 and changes in the law affecting workers on short time were approved by Parliament in 1957. My right hon. Friend is keeping this subject under review, but he has no proposals for referring it to the Committee again.

Mr. Foot

Does not the hon. Lady realise that with the spread of short-time working in many parts of the country this year this has become a really acute problem? Does she not think that it is at least worth further consideration by the Advisory Committee?

Mrs. Thatcher

The Advisory Committee spent almost two years on this problem and had very wide terms of reference. The differences between its members were very deep and I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by again referring the question to the Advisory Committee.