asked the Minister of Labour whether the Returns of unemployed persons in receipt of out-of-work donation are analysed with a view to detecting any marked excess in the supply of those skilled in any particular industry, having regard to the probable eventual demand for skilled labour in that industry; and, if so, what, if any, steps are being taken to divert such labour into other channels of employment instead of continuing to pay out-of-work donation?
I am afraid it would be impossible to make such an analysis as is suggested, in view of the fact that the probable eventual demand for labour in any given industry could not be even approximately estimated. I may add, however, that the Returns of persons in receipt of out-of-work donation are regularly scrutinised with a view to ensuring that all possible steps are taken to utilise unemployed labour for filling vacancies which are at the time known to exist.
asked the Minister of Labour whether he has received any representations from trade unions in favour of the substitution of Clause 8 of the out-of-work donation scheme by a provision that any worker offered employment in another district where wages are lower shall be guaranteed the district rate of his place of residence; and whether he will consider this matter?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. The rule is based upon the corresponding rule in Section 86 (c) of the National Health Insurance Act, 1911; and I do not see my way to altering it.
asked the Minister of Labour whether married women with children are being offered domestic service by the Labour Exchanges without the opportunity of returning to their homes in the evenings; and whether unemployment benefit is being refused to those who decline to take such work?
It is the duty of Employment Exchanges to offer suitable employment wherever possible to all women who claim out-of-work donation. The domestic circumstances of applicants are in all cases taken fully into account before unemployment donation is refused; and, further, all suspensions of donation are referred to a Court of Referees, before whom the applicant is entitled to attend and state his or her case. I am not aware of any particular instances raising the point contained in the hon. Member's question.
In every case it is the duty of the Employment Exchanges to consider such circumstances as the hon. Member mentions, and if they are unsatisfactory to the applicants it is then the duty of the Court of Referees to deal with it.
I am afraid I am not sufficiently familiar with the forms of this. House to be able to answer that question, but if the hon. Member will put it before me in a subsequent question I shall be glad to answer it.
The number of agricultural labourers (men) in England who obtained employment through the Employment Exchanges during the second week in March was 119.
I should like to add to the three answers which I have just given that the men submitted for employment are very frequently refused, and the fact that a man represents himself as an agricultural labourer is no guarantee that he has sufficient skill to induce the employer to take him on.
The number of painters and painters' labourers who were in receipt of out-of-work donation during the second week in March was 9,804. The number of bricklayers and bricklayers' labourers who were in receipt of out-of-work donation during the second week in March was 7,884.