§ Mr. NIELD
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) whether the Department received claims for unemployment benefit on 28th March and 23rd April, 1913, from H. M. Hester, of 10, Chaucer Road, Acton; whether, in answer to three separate communications sent by the insured person, the Department have replied that the claim was receiving attention, and that more recently, namely, on 6th June, officials of the Department have stated that the particulars of the claim have been lost; if so, whether he will inquire into the cause of this delay, and will ensure that the unemployment benefit shall be immediately paid over to the applicant; (2) whether he is aware that H. M. Hester, of 10, Chaucer Road, Acton, whose unemployed insurance card or book is No. 295,062, issued at Churchfield Road Post Office, Acton, notified a claim for unemployed benefit at the Acton Labour 382W Exchange on 28th March last, and again on 23rd April last, but has been unable to obtain any payment whatever; though contributions by him and on his behalf had been duly made ever since the National Insurance Act, Part II., has been in operation; and, if so, what is the reason for such withholding of the unemployed benefit?
I am informed that the workman in question made two claims to benefit, on the 28th February and on the 3rd April, and not on either of the dates mentioned in the questions. The benefit due to him on the first claim was duly paid. The second claim was unfortunately lost, and the attention of the divisional officer was first drawn to the loss on the 5th May, on the receipt of a letter from the workman complaining of the delay. As the workman gave the wrong number of his unemployment book, the difficulty of tracing the missing claim was increased, and I understand that the workman also refused to assist the office by making a duplicate claim. On 9th June, however, the original claim was discovered, and was immediately sent to Acton Exchange, with instructions for payment. On 12th June the manager wrote to the workman asking him to call for payment of the present amount due to him, but I understand that he has not yet done so. I very much regret the delay which has occurred, but it would have been greatly shortened if the workman had helped the office instead of putting difficulties in its way.