§ MR. THORNE (West Ham, S.)
On behalf of the hon. Member for the North East Division of Manchester I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he can state to the House the number of persons who have applied to distress committees for work, and the number for whom work has been found; and whether it is intended to introduce a Bill which will enlarge the powers of distress committees so as to enable them to adequately perform their duties.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. JOHN BURNS,) Battersea
According to the latest figures, which were published in the Labour Gazette of the Board of Trade for March, the total number of persons who between the opening of the registers and the end of February had made application to the Distress Committees under the Unemployed Workmen Act was 106,312. The number of cases investigated was 79,705, and out of 75,145 of these 1 2,729 were found to be ineligible or not suitable for assistance under the Act. The number of persons receiving employment under the Act in February appears to have been 24,903. I cannot at present state the total number of persons who have had assistance under the Act, but I propose in due course to obtain complete figures on the subject so far as England and Wales are concerned. The Government have intimated their intention of bringing in a Bill for the amendment of the Act.