HC Deb 07 May 1925 vol 183 cc1165-6W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will issue an instruction to the Court of Referees that when a claimant for unemployment benefit has been refused benefit by the Insurance officer, on the report of the claimant's employer, the employer will he compelled to appear before the Court of Referees to substantiate the report upon which the Insurance officer has acted?


I am advised that Courts of Referees have no power of compelling witnesses to attend before them, and I am further advised that it is far from clear that any means exist under present legislation to make such attendance compulsory. I have no evidence that the procedure hitherto followed has not been satisfactory, and in the absence of such evidence I think it would not be really in the interests of claimants to take any steps in the direction suggested in the question.

Mr. G. W. H. JONES

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that Miss E. L. Woolley (serial number 17, 196 at Hackney Employment Exchange) was deprived of her unemployment benefit by the Court of Referees for the Metropolitan district on the 16th April last on the ground that she was not genuinely seeking work, the only evidence against her being that she had refused work from Mr. Freedman, of 53, Well Street, Hackney, to whom she had been sent by the Hackney Employment Exchange, although she states, and states truly, that she refused such work because Mr. Freedman would not agree to the amount of wages to be paid, he will say whether unemployed persons are bound to accept work from any person who refuses to agree to the rate of remuneration; and whether Miss E. L. Woolley can be given leave to appeal from such decision?


I am having inquiries made into Miss Woolley's case, and will inform my hon. Friend of the result as soon as possible. I should mention, however, that the question whether an applicant for unemployment benefit is genuinely seeking work falls to be determined, not by me but by the statutory machinery of the Insurance Officer, Court of Referees and Umpire.