Smallholders, Hamsterley and Middleton-in-Teesdale.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 31st July 1922.

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Photo of Mr John Swan Mr John Swan , Barnard Castle


asked the Minister of Labour on what grounds the local unemployment committee refuse to allow the ordinary unemployment benefit to men who are out of work, or have been, at Hamsterley and Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, who happen to be the possessors of small holdings; is he aware that the statement that these men put only three or four days' work in at the mines when such were open is incorrect; will he make inquiries into the attendance at the mines of those men who have small holdings; and will he see that all such persons are paid the benefits equal with others?

Photo of Mr Thomas Macnamara Mr Thomas Macnamara , Camberwell North West

I understand these men have drawn the full amount of any covenanted benefit to which they are entitled, and that the claims in question are for uncovenanted benefit. The ground of disallowance by the local employment committee in most cases was that the applicant was the occupier of a small holding or assisted his father on a small holding, and on the evidence before me I consider that this decision was correct. If my hon. Friend can supply me with particulars showing that the decision causes substantial hardship in any case, I shall be glad to submit them to the local employment committee for further consideration.