§ Mr. W. THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that the National Union of Gasworkers and General Labourers Association has paid in unemployment benefit from its own funds over £4,000 since January, 1912; that this association has an arrangement with the Board of Trade, under Section 106 of the National Insurance Act, and that the sum of £33 15s. is all that has been received from the Board of Trade as a State Grant; and if he can state the reason for delay in getting the accounts of the association audited?
§ Mr. BURNS
I have no information as to the total amount paid by the association referred to, for unemployment benefit. The only claims under Section 106 of the National Insurance Act received from that association relate to the four quarters of the year 1913, and amount to a total of £285, the last of these claims, for the December quarter, being received on 22nd May last. £33 15s., being 75 per cent. of the amount appearing to be due, has been paid on account of the claim for the March quarter. Payments for subsequent quarters were suspended owing to a resolution of a federation to which the association in question is affiliated, against the production of the branch books of associations for audit. I understand that this resolution has now been rescinded, and I assume that the association in question is prepared to produce such books, as are deemed necessary for audit purposes, in due course. On this assumption, arrangements are being made to make the usual payments of 75 per cent. on account of sums appearing to be due in respect of the last three quarters of 1913, and of later quarters as claims are received. Arrangements will be made also to expedite the final audit of the claims of associations as far as practicable. In view, however, of the delay that has taken place as a result of the resolution referred to, and the con-1520W sequent accumulation of claims for audit, it may not be possible to proceed at, once with all claims.