§ Mr. DAY
asked the Minister of Labour the total amount agreed between the Ministry of Labour and the trustees of the Lord Mayor's Fund which has been set apart for assisting the transfer of mine workers from the depressed areas; and what proportion of that sum has been used to subsidise the rates of wages paid to such mine workers in districts away from their homes?
§ Miss BONDFIELD
The total amount which has been allocated out of the Lord Mayor's Fund to facilitate the transference of juveniles from the depressed mining areas, one of the purposes expressly included among those for which the Fund was raised, is £45,350. The grants made out of this sum are not used to subsidise rates of wages in the sense of enabling the employer to pay less than the normal rates. On the contrary, before a grant is sanctioned, the Department take steps to satisfy themselves that the employer offers the full normal rates, and, indeed, save in a few special cases referred to below, a weekly payment over and above this rate. Since February, 1928, some 3,574 boys have been transferred through the machinery of Employment Exchanges or Juvenile Employment Bureaux from the depressed mining areas to employment in other districts. While the majority of these vacancies are at wages sufficient, with care, to provide adequate maintenance, in about one-third of the number, although the employment offers good prospects of training or progressive work with possibilities of permanency, the normal wages payable are insufficient during the first year or two to enable the boy to maintain himself away from home. Grants from the Lord Mayor's Fund have been awarded in these cases for periods not exceeding two years. It is a condition of such a grant that the employers shall agree to bear some proportion, ordinarily not less than one-half and in no case less than one-quarter, of the difference between the normal weekly rates of wages usually paid for the occupation in question and the amount considered to be necessary for maintenance; in a few special cases this supplemental sum is provided not by the employer but by funds at the disposition of some local organisation. The payments out of the sum allocated from the1324W Lord Mayor's Fund have amounted, up to date, to £6,103. The amount of the further payments to be made cannot yet be stated. Great care has been exercised in selecting vacancies and suitable lodgings. In these matters, as well as in the arrangements for the industrial supervision of the boys who have been transferred, the assistance of juvenile employment committees has been of the greatest value. A full description of the arrangements made, with details of results, districts, occupations and points of interest, is given in a Memorandum, I.T.B. I, a copy of which I am sending to my hon. Friend.