HC Deb 06 April 1925 vol 182 cc1842-3W

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the case of F. A. Burch; of Kia-Ora, Fowey; whether he is aware that this man was one of the ex-apprentices discharged from Devon-port dockyard in 1922 in order to effect certain economies in the public administration; that Mr. Burch, rather than accept unemployment benefit, purchased a field and set up a small poultry farm, thinking that thereby he would be able to obtain a living for himself and his wife; that, disappointed in his expectations, he applied to the Fowey Unemployment Exchange for benefit, whereat he was informed that although ho had been a contributor for many years to the insurance scheme he was not eligible because he had not affixed any stamps for 12 months; and whether, seeing that the local unemployment committee has rejected this man's claim upon the ground that he has during the two years immediately previous to his application for benefit not been employed in insurable employment, he can see his way to ask the committee to reconsider its recommendation in view of the fact that this man has shown every endeavour to maintain himself without putting any burden upon those public funds to which he himself has contributed?


I find that the case referred to by the hon. Member is one in regard to which a full explanation was given in letters addressed to the hon. Member on the 20th February and 26th March. It appears that since leaving His Majesty's Dockyard, a von-port, in May, 1922, the claimant referred to has only performed one week's insurable work—apparently in November, 1924, and that he commenced a poultry farm and has recently built his own house on the land occupied in connection with the farm. Mr. Burch's claim to standard benefit in respect of contributions fails under the statutory provisions of the Act. As regards extended benefit, the local employment committee went fully into all the circumstances of the case and felt bound to recommend that the claim should be disallowed. In this connection they appear to have concluded that the claim failed under the specific statutory condition which requires a reasonable period of insurable employment during the two years immediately before application for benefit; but there seems little doubt, having regard to the facts in the case, that the claimant also fails to show that

NUMBER of Persons in the Coal-Mining Industry Registered as Unemployed in the Administrative Areas of the Ministry of Labour.
End of Month. South-Eastern. South-Western Midlands. North-Eastern. North-Western Scotland. Wale. Great Britain.
End of January 367 1,184 5,002 10,666 8,925 5,776 26,367 58,287
End of February 321 1,040 3,987 9,418 3,683 5,077 7,501 31,027
End of March 248 909 3,890 7,830 3,414 4,410 5,701 26,402
End of April 251 857 3,961 7,493 3,428 4,477 5,172 25,639
End of May 243 1,528 3,845 10,558 4,202 7,415 10,261 38,052
End of June 205 2,787 13,949 13,024 6,245 10,705 12,813 59,728
End of July 844 2,511 13,776 29,568 8,438 18,157 12,968 86,262
End of August 935 4,566 11,518 34,968 10,172 15,069 19,923 97,151
End of September 833 2,455 7,179 43,207 10,073 13,409 25,883 103,039
End of October 832 3,938 8,022 46,468 8,528 13,226 48,980 129,994
End of November 1,437 1,579 8,754 36,709 10,836 14,034 40,200 113,549
End of December 635 1,568 8,824 32,753 10,927 11,722 32,715 99,144
End of January 544 1,866 7,500 31,061 9,812 14,113 35,165 100,061
End of February 400 1,318 7,851 42,774 7,617 24,810 46,145 130,915
A considerable proportion of those included in these figures were persons who, though not actually at work on the date of the Return, were intermittently working short-time.