§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury (1) whether he is aware that it is provided under The National Insurance Act, 1911, First Schedule, part 2, paragraph (i), that any class which may be specified in a special order that their employment is of such a nature that it is ordinarily adopted as a subsidiary employment only, and not as the principal means of livelihood, can be exempted from the operation of the said Act; whether he is aware that the Foyle and Bann Fishery Company employ each year during the fishing season, for a period of about twelve weeks in the summer time, about thirty persons as fishermen, whose means of living during the rest of the year is derived from farming or other occupations on their own account, and who do not earn during the year any wages save from the said company; whether these men are included in the class so entitled to be exempted under the said Act; if so, why, when the Foyle and Bann Fishery Company applied to the Irish Insurance Commissioners, placing the fact with regard to these employés before them, and requested them to make a special exemption order under the said Act, their request has been declined; and (2) whether he will state what advantages the employés of the Bann and Foyle Fishery Company will receive, under the National Insurance Act, from being insured each year during only twelve weeks in respect of the contributions paid by them during such period, and what benefit in respect of the contributions by their paid employés during the like period; and whether in the circumstances the Government will direct the Commissioners to make the Special Order asked for in this case under the terms of the provisions of the Act which was passed expressly to protect such classes of employés?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I propose to take questions 2 and 3 together. The employment referred to by the hon. Member is not subsidiary employment, but whole-time employment lasting for a period of several months. It does not, therefore, fall within the class of employment which could be specified as subsidiary by Special Order. Persons engaged in this employment are entitled to sanatorium benefit from the 467W date of their entry into insurance, and I am informed that some of them are insured during the remainder of the year in respect of other employments. During periods of temporary unemployment such persons need not pay contributions, though they may do so if they choose, in order to qualify for benefits or to avoid falling into arrears.