§ Mr. LEE
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that in the county of Derby there are a number of local authorities, the county council included, who lease and work quarries for the provision of stone for the making and repairing of roads in their districts; that such quarries are not being worked to the full capacity, and that many roads 1710W are continually requiring attention amounting in many cases to reconstruction; and whether he will consider making allowances to ease the unemployment in these areas by the employment of out-of-work miners who are very suited to such work, or by allowance to the local authorities of the amount of the unemployment benefit, in consideration that the local authorities employ these men on road or quarry work for which work the cost, other than wages, is small?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
There are no funds at my disposal out of which a grant can be made for such a purpose. The Unemployment Insurance Acts would not permit the payment to the local authority or any other employer of unemployment benefit towards the cost of the wages of a man who was to be employed.
§ Mr. LEE
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that in Derbyshire several local authorities lease and work quarries for the supply of stone for their own roads, and is he prepared to consider the allowance to them of the amount of Poor Law out-relief granted by boards of guardians in consideration of the local authorities employing suitable men on road or quarry work, for which work the cost, apart from wages, is very small?
§ Sir K. WOOD
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. My right hon. Friend is ready to consider any proposals on the lines suggested in the second part of the question, but it will be obvious to the hon. Member that a contribution by the guardians could only be approved if the work were new work which would not, apart from the contribution, have been undertaken.