HC Deb 08 June 1921 vol 142 cc1890-1W

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that before the commencement of the present dispute in the cotton trade a large number of the workpeople in this industry had been unemployed for some weeks through the shortage of coal; that, in consequence of the closing of mills through the depression in trade, a considerable number of those workpeople had been unemployed for periods which vary from several weeks to more than six months; and whether such workpeople will be entitled to continue to receive during the period of the dispute the unemployment benefits which they received for their unemployment before the dispute commenced?


I am aware that a number of workpeople in the cotton industry have been in receipt of unemployment benefit for a considerable time. In accordance with Section 8 (1) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, their right to receive benefit during the stoppage due to the present dispute depends on whether they are unemployed at the present time by reason of this stoppage. This is a question which must be determined by the insurance officer in the light of the facts in each particular case. As my hon. Friend is aware, there is a right of appeal to the Courts of Referees and the umpire in the event of disallowance of benefit by the insurance officer.


asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that owing to the serious state of the jute trade most of the operatives will have exhausted their period of 16 weeks' unemployment benefit, and, unless there is an amendment of the law, they will be without assistance until November next; and whether he will consider the possibility of introducing further legislation extending the period for the payment of unemployment benefit?


I would refer my hon. Friend to the proposals of the Unemployment Insurance Bill introduced to-day.