§ Captain W. BENN
asked the Minister of Labour whether the provision for excluding nurses from the operation of the Unemployment Insurance Act can be made retrospective, in view both of the difficulties of collecting arrears of contributions and of the fact that the insurance is of no practical value to nurses?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the Report of 1445W the Proceedings of Standing Committee "B" for Tuesday, the 4th April, from which it will be seen that in accepting the Amendment in Committee that unemployment insurance contributions should cease to be payable in respect of nurses, I made it clear that in order to allow a reasonable interval before payment of benefit is stopped in the cases of the nurses, numbering several hundreds, who are unemployed, I could not agree to the new exception taking effect before 1st July, I added that I had no doubt that as the main request of the nurses had been met, I should find general acceptance of my decision that contributions should be paid up to 1st July. In these circumstances, I could not agree to make the exception retrospective, which in any event would require legislation.