§ Mr. BARKER
asked the Minister of Labour if he can authorise the payment of unemployment insurance benefit to youths in the mining and other industries who may have been employed for two years or less in the industry before attaining the age of 16 and who are rendered idle by trade depression before they have paid 20 contributions under Section 4 of the Act of 1922, after they have attained the age of 16, and are thus unable to obtain unemployment insurance benefit; and, if he is unable to authorise the payment of benefit under the circumstances stated, will he bring 2205W in a short amending Bill to make the entitlement to benefit concurrent with the payment of the first contribution, and thus relieve a very great hardship in many cases?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
The condition which the hon. Member has in mind is, I presume, that laid down by Section 4 (3) (c) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1922, to the effect that when applicants have not paid 20 contributions they must prove employment for a reasonable length of time in an insurable occupation since 31st December, 1919. Youths who since reaching the age of 16 have worked in an insurable occupation, but for less than 20 weeks, may in proper Cases be regarded as satisfying this condition, particularly if they have been in industrial employment for a substantial period before reaching the age of 16. Having regard
PERCENTAGE OF TRADE UNION MEMBERS RETURNED AS UNEMPLOYED. Month. Canada. Australia. 1921. 1922. 1921. 1922. % % % % January … … 13.1 13.9 11 .4 9.2 February … … 16.1 11.6 March … … 6.5 9.6 April … … 16.3 10.4 12.5 9.6 May … … 15.5 8.7 June … … 13.2 5.3 July … … 9.1 4.1 11.4 9.6 August … … 8.7 3.6 September … … 8.5 2.8 October … … 7.4 — 9.5 — November … … 11.1 — December … … 15.1 —
NOTE.—The Canadian percentages shown for any given month relate to the membership out of work on the last working day of the previous month.
The Australian percentages (which are computed quarterly) relate to the membership out of work for three days or more during a particular week (not indicated in the published returns) in each quarter.
For these among other reasons the figures are not strictly comparable.