HC Deb 10 July 1922 vol 156 cc858-9W
Brigadier-General SURTEES

asked the Minister of Labour if, taking into consideration the extending evil consequences, of the Government grant in regard to growing physical, mental, and moral deterioration to the recipients of both sexes, as well as loss of occupational skill and the will to work, he will introduce legislation authorising the commutation of the uncovenanted benefit into maintenance training grants for short periods to enable suitable potential migrants to practically, qualify in a preliminary manner in Britain for taking up agricultural and out-of-door occupations overseas with a view to the permanent maintenance of themselves and their dependants?


The deterioration to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers arises not so much from the grant of un-covenanted benefit as from the prolonged and unavoidable unemployment. The plan of providing a preliminary training for intending settlers in the Dominions is one which merits careful consideration; but I do not think it would be practicable to divert to this purpose any part of the financial resources of the Unemployment Fund. I may point out, however, that the Empire Settlement Act enables training schemes to be adopted for facilitating oversea settlement, and I understand that the question of preparing such scheme is being carefully considered.

Number registered as Wholly Unemployed. Number registered as on Short-time. Estimated Number in Receipt of Benefit.
Men. Women. Men. Women. Men. Women.
3rd April 1,292,914 256,090 114,219 64,602 1,123.000 190,000
1st May 1,293,575 231,724 101,731 53,881 l,115,000 174,000
6th June 1,182,080 180,443 72,705 28,294 589,000 64,000
19th June 1,194,778 168,098 73,751 23,677 707,000 80,000
26th June 1.173,276 160,985 79,479 21,377 821,000 88,000

The reduction in the numbers in receipt of benefit on 6th, 19th, and 26th June is mainly due to the operation of the rule laid down by the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1922, and after un-covenanted benefit has been drawn for five weeks there must be an interval of five weeks before benefit again becomes payable.

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