(1) If it appears to the Minister that, haying regard to all the circumstances of the case, it is expedient in the public interest that a person, notwithstanding that by reason that he does not satisfy the first statutory condition, or that he is disqualified under Sub-section (4) of Section eight of the principal Act for receiving benefit, or (except as hereinafter otherwise expressly provided) by reason of the provisions of paragraph 3 of the Second Schedule to the principal Act, he may not be entitled to receive benefit, should be allowed to receive benefit in the third or the fourth special period, as the case may be, the Minister may, subject to the provisions of this Section, authorise that person to receive benefit—
(2) When and so often as a person has received benefit under this Section in the third special period for periods amounting in the aggregate to five weeks, he shall cease to be qualified for the receipt of benefit in the third special period until the expiration of five weeks from the end of the last period in respect of which benefit was payable, and if at any time before the seventeenth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-two, the amount of benefit received by any person since the commencement of the second special period amounts in the aggregate to twenty-two weeks, he shall not be qualified for receiving any further benefit until the said seventeenth day of April.
(3) The Minister shall not authorise any person to receive benefit under this Section unless that person proves
For the purposes of paragraph (c) aforesaid the Minister may, in the case of any person formerly engaged in war service who has at the cost of funds administered by the Minister, or by the Minister of Pensions, undergone training for an occupation employment in which would have made him an employed person, treat that training as if it were employment which would, if the principal Act had been in force during the period of training, have made that person an employed person within the meaning of that Act.
(4) For the purpose of qualifying a person to receive, within either the third or the fourth special period, benefit up to the aggregate amount which may be authorised by the Minister under this Act, but for no other purpose, there shall be treated as having been paid in respect of him such number of contributions as are sufficient so to qualify him.
(5) Notwithstanding anything in the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 and 1921, or in this Act, no person shall be entitled to receive benefit in the third special period for periods amounting in the aggregate to more than fifteen weeks, or in the fourth special period for periods amounting in the aggregate (except as hereinbefore otherwise expressly provided) to more than eighteen weeks.
I beg to move, in Sub-section (1), to leave out the words
If it appears to the Minister that, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, it is expedient in the public interest that a person, notwithstanding that by reason that he does not satisfy the first statutory condition, or that he is disqualified under Subsection (4) of Section eight of the principal Act for receiving benefit, or (except as hereinafter otherwise expressly provided) by reason of the provisions of paragraph 3 of the Second Schedule to the principal Act, ho may not be entitled to receive benefit, should be allowed.
and to insert instead thereof the words
Every person who fulfils the conditions laid down in this Section shall be entitled.
We consider this Amendment a very important one. What we ask is that the same condition shall apply to the second, third, and fourth periods as apply to the first. That the man will find when he has paid his contributions that he is automatically entitled to receive benefit under this fund, we ask that the same thing shall apply to the people who receive benefit in the other periods, but as at present the Minister decides the point, we consider that unfair. We say that this payment is not a charity in any sense; if so, we say that any expensive and irritating inquiries should be, as far as possible, dispensed with. The workers pay their share, and we have to remember that the employers' portion is a charge on the industry and comes out of the workers' wages, and, as a matter of fact, they pay a big share of the State contribution as well. The late Minister of Health once said that
the workers pay at least five-sevenths of the whole of these contributions. Therefore the conditions ought to be made as light as possible for them. If this Clause goes through as it is in the Bill, it will be imperative that rules shall be drawn up for the guidance of the local committees, and this will disqualify many of them from receiving benefit. All the payments should be automatically made provided that the applicants fulfil the conditions of the Clause. We are not asking that these payments should be made unconditionally. My only point is that the same conditions should apply to the second, third, and fourth periods as apply to the first period.
There are two parts of this Act. One is the permanent structure for which the man gets benefit under the Statutory provisions, and that is not touched by this Bill. As a result of very grave unemployment since the fall of the year 1920, I have added another section, bringing in the 8,000,000 people who then came into insurance, and for these people I wanted to make the conditions less onerous.
It is this side, the uncovenanted side, with which we are now dealing. I am not proposing to touch the covenanted side, provision for which is laid down in the Statute. I am proposing in regard to the uncovenanted side to have some discretion as to the conditions under which these benefits shall be paid. From the fall of 1920 to the present time the accumulated funds provided for 52 weeks' benefit. We are now providing to the end of October for 15 weeks more, and from October to June next we shall provide for another 22 weeks, and this benefit will be received by many people who have paid little or nothing into this fund. We are paying benefits in advance of contributions, and I think, in these circumstances, I am entitled to
lay down reasonable and just conditions under which this free uncovenanted benefit should be granted. My hon. Friend's Amendment would take my discretion away entirely. The hon. Member talks about his proposal being automatic. May I point out that these benefits have not been contributed, and they are free uncovenanted benefits. Therefore I am bound to make such regulations as, will secure that this fund shall be conserved for those who need it most. I cannot think that the House will agree that this side shall not be at the discretion of the Minister. As to the statement that I wish to have an expensive; and irritating inquiry, I want to do nothing of the kind. All I want is to; see that such money as I have got shall go to the people who need it most of all, and to that end I ask to be allowed to retain this discretion.
The object of this Amendment is to provide that each person covered by the Bill shall receive benefits if he fulfils the conditions laid down in the Bill. The Minister in Clause 4 asks for power to make Regulations, to say whether a person is entitled to benefit or not. He wishes to have two voices for one. I suppose it will be said the object is to provide against young persons imposing on the Act. I think we can rest-assured there will not be very many impostors under this Bill.
To my mind it is absolutely unfair that there should be two chances to one. There are three contributors to the fund. It is like three playing at a game—"heads I win, tails you lose; what I lose on the swings I shall get back on the hobbyhorses." What we say is, that all contributors to this Act should receive benefit, and I hope the House will support the Amendment.
|Division No. 86.]||AYES.||[11.15 p.m.|
|Amery, Leopold C. M. S.||Bell, Lieut.-Col. W. C. H. (Devizes)||Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive|
|Armstrong, Henry Bruce||Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Brittain, Sir Harry|
|Atkey, A. R.||Bonn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Broad, Thomas Tucker|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Brown, Major D. C.|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Blades, Sir George Rowland||Bruton, Sir James|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Blane, T. A.||Buckley, Lieut. Colonel A.|
|Barker, Major Robert H.||Borwick, Major G. O.||Campion, Lieut.-Colonel W. R.|
|Barnett, Major Richard W.||Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Carew, Charles Robert S.|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Casey, T. W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. A.(Birm., W.)||Johnson, Sir Stanley||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Johnstone, Joseph||Scott, A. M. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Clay, Lieut.-Colonel H. H. Spender||Jones, J. T. (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Seddon, J. A.|
|Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Lindsay, William Arthur||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Lloyd-Greame, Sir P.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Smith, Sir Allan M. (Croydon, South)|
|Davidson, J. C. C.(Hemel Hempstead)||Lorden, John William||Smith, Sir Harold (Warrington)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Lort-Williams, J.||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Doyle, N. G rattan||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Elveden, Viscount||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Sugden, W. H.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Manville, Edward||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Faile, Major Sir Bertram Godfrey||Moore-Brabazon, Lieut.-Col. J. T. C.||Taylor, J.|
|Fisher, Rt. Hon. Herbert A. L.||Morden, Col. W. Grant||Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)|
|Forrest, Walter||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Neal, Arthur||Townley, Maximilian G.|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Townshend, Sir Charles Vere Ferrers|
|Gee, Captain Robert||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson||Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Newton, Sir D. G. C. (Cambridge)||Watson, Captain John Bertrand|
|Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel Sir John||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Goff, Sir R. Park||Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)||Willey, Lieut.-Colonel F. V.|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Oman, Sir Charles William C.||Williams, C. (Tavistock)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Parker, James||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir M. (Bethnal Gn.)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Perkins, Walter Frank||Wilson- Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Pownail, Lieut.-Colonel Assheton||Winterton, Earl|
|Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)||Pratt, John William||Wise, Frederick|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Ramsden, G. T.||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Randles, Sir John Scurrah||Wood, Sir H. K. (Woolwich, West)|
|Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)||Wood, Major Sir S. Hill- (High Peak)|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Remer, J. R.||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Hood, Sir Joseph||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Hopkins, John W. W.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hurd, Percy A.||Roundell, Colonel R. F.||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.|
|Inskip, Thomas Walker H.||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)||McCurdy.|
|Jameson, John Gordon||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Grundy, T. W.||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich).|
|Ammon, Charles George||Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Robertson, John|
|Banton, George||Hancock, John George||Sexton, James|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Hartshorn, Vernon||Short, Alfred (Wednesbury)|
|Barnes, Major H. (Newcastle, E.)||Hayward, Evan||Sitch, Charles H.|
|Bowerman, Rt. Hon. Charles W.||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Spencer, George A.|
|Bromfield, William||Hogge, James Myles||Swan, J. E.|
|Cairns, John||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Thomson, T. (Middlesbrough, West)|
|Cape, Thomas||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Lawson, John James||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Lunn, William||Wilson, James (Dudley)|
|Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeon, C.)|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedweilty)||Naylor, Thomas Ellis|
|Finney, Samuel||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gillis, William||Raffan, Peter Wilson||Mr. Kennedy and Mr. W. Smith.|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|