Island of Lewis.

Oral Answers to Questions — Education. – in the House of Commons on 29th March 1923.

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Photo of Sir William Cotts Sir William Cotts , Na h-Eileanan an Iar

66.

asked the Undersecretary to the Scottish Board of Health what the Government intend to do for ex-service men in the Western Isles, where in Lewis alone there are over 5,000 without means of support, as none of these men are entitled to unemployment benefit owing to their pre-War occupations being fishing and crofting, which are not normally insurable under the Act?

Mr. THOMSON:

In order to relieve distress in the Western Isles a contribution from public funds has been sanctioned towards the cost of a number of road works, two of which were mentioned in the reply given to the hon. Baronet's question on the 26th March. The position as to distress in Lewis has received special attention from the Board of Health during the past year, and from the information furnished by the Board my Noble Friend is satisfied that 5,000 is a greatly exaggerated estimate of the number of ex-service men in Lewis who are without means of support. So far as the men in question are crofters their previous occupation is available to them, and fishing contributes substantially to the subsistence of families in the Islands in spite of the existing depression in the industry.