HL Deb 05 February 1935 vol 95 c782

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, this is a Bill to consolidate the Acts relating to unemployment insurance. It makes no alteration at all in the existing law, but merely brings into one measure the law on the subject. Since 1920, when the original Unemployment Insurance Act became law, between thirty and forty further Acts and other measures dealing with unemployment insurance have been passed. Some of the Acts have been wholly repealed, some of them have been partly repealed, others have been amended—some of them on several occasions—while others remain in the condition in which they passed. There have been serious criticisms, and great inconvenience has been felt in many quarters, because of the present state of unemployment insurance legislation. It is a matter of extreme difficulty to find one's way about the different Acts in order to arrive at what is the existing law upon any aspect of the subject. The Royal Commission on Unemployment Insurance commented on the added difficulty they had experienced in their inquiry owing to the complicated character of the legislation, and said that they attached importance to consolidation. It is obviously in the interests of all concerned—of the employed persons and their employers, as well as of the Legislature—that consolidation should take place as quickly as possible. Accordingly the Government introduce the present measure, and I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and referred to the Joint Committee on Consolidation Bills.