§ 6. Mr. Thorne
asked the Minister of Labour whether the Government intend to amend Section 36 of the Unemployment Assistance Act in order to include all able-bodied unemployed and to repeal 1376 Section 45 of the Act, with the object of the Government assuming responsibility for full maintenance of the able-bodied unemployed?
§ Mr. E. Brown
In reply to the first part of the question, I cannot add to the reply (of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy) which I gave to the hon. Member for Stratford (Mr. Groves) on 17th June last. In reply to the second part of the question, I would remind the hon. Member that the Section to which he refers was repealed by Local Government (Financial Provisions) Act, 1937, and that the payments to which the Section related were taken into account in the calculation of the "block grant" to local authorities.
§ Mr. Thorne
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is universal discontent in large industrial areas because of the action of the Unemployment Assistance Board in shunting unemployed on to the rates, and is he aware that, as far as West Ham is concerned, we have had 800 unemployed shunted on to the rates, and they are costing West Ham £35,000 a year?
§ Mr. Brown
I cannot accept the hon. Member's statement. I am not aware of any universal discontent. Hon. Members will understand that the question concerns the scope and definition of able-bodied, and I would remind the hon. Member that the proportion of appeals do riot show that there is this universal dis-content.
§ Mr. Thorne
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that since April out of the 800 able-bodied who have been shunted on to the rates at West Ham 300 have been found employment, which proves that they are able-bodied.
§ 14. Mr. T. Smith
asked the Minister of Labour in how many cases households of a normal size have been granted supplementary allowances exceeding 2s. per week in the district covered by the Ponte-fract area office?
§ 16. Mr. Graham White
asked the Minister of Labour whether he will state as on the last convenient date the number of applicants for unemployment benefit who are in receipt of allowances from the Unemployment Assistance Board in respect of the waiting period?
§ 19. Mr. T. Smith
asked the Minister of Labour the number of single men who have had their unemployment assistance allowance reduced during the past six months under the Pontefract area office?
§ Mr. Brown
I regret that separate figures in respect of reductions in the allowances of single men during the past six months are not available, but in the Board's administrative area of Pontefract there were on 29th October last too persons who were receiving allowances which had been reduced by way of adjustment of the standstill arrangements, otherwise than on account of personal earnings.
§ Mr. E. J. Williams
Will the right hon. Gentleman again consider the question of single men in particular, and not apply any reduction?
§ 20. Mr. Logan
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that in Liverpool the Unemployment Assistance Board grant no single man extra winter allowance; and, in view of the change in price levels, is he willing to ask the Board to consider bringing single men within the ambit of their instruction?
§ 21. Mr. Logan
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that in Liverpool the Unemployment Assistance Board have granted additional allowances for some cases for the week ended 5th November; and is he willing, when other cases are reviewed, also to pay them the additional allowance as and from 5th November?
§ Mr. Logan
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that every one of these ought to be treated equally, and that if some cases are taken earlier and others are treated as being in arrears, it is not fair? Why should not all be treated alike and such allocation be made that the arrears that are due are paid?
§ 23. Mr. Stephen
asked the Minister of Labour the number of applicants for unemployment assistance in the city of Glasgow who have been granted allowances for three months or more, and the number of cases in which such allowances have been increased in consequence of the circular drawing attention to the need for reconsideration in view of the increased cost of living?
§ Mr. Brown
I regret that information is not available to enable me to answer the first part of the question. As regards the second part, I have already explained to-day that these statistics will not be available until the review of cases for the first time under the Board's recent instruction has been completed, that is to say, I think, about the middle of December.
§ Mr. Stephen
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is great dissatisfaction in Glasgow because the unemployed are getting no increases in their allowances?
§ 24. Mr. Stephen
asked the Minister of Labour how many recipients of unemployment insurance benefit in the city of Glasgow have applied for supplementary allowances to the Unemployment Assistance Board; the number of cases in which such allowances have been granted; and whether he will make arrangements, in view of the rising cost of living and the circular which the board has issued, that such rising costs has to be considered in dealing with claims for unemployment assistance, to put up notices in each Employment Exchange that such applications will be considered?
§ Mr. Brown
Information relative to the city of Glasgow is not available, but in 1380 the Unemployment Assistance Board administrative district of Glasgow 1 the numbers of applications since 1st April, 1937, have averaged 10 a week, of which, on the average, eight have been granted assistance. The number of cases now receiving supplementation of benefit is in. As regards the last part of the question, I think the position is sufficiently understood without additional notices being displayed in the exchanges.
§ Mr. Stephen
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, in view of the number who are drawing unemployment benefit, it is evident that the unemployed do not know this, and would there be any difficulty in providing notices at the exchanges?