Insurance Bill.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 27th July 1927.

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Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

May I ask the Leader of the House if it is the intention of the Government that the Unemployment Insurance Bill, which is now going to be introduced, will be printed at an early date?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

Is this the Bill that has reference to the conclusions of the Blanesburgh Report?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I am informed that it will be printed and circulated in ample time to enable Members to take part in a Debate on the subject as soon as possible after we resume in November.

Photo of Mr George Buchanan Mr George Buchanan , Glasgow Gorbals

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that large numbers of workmen are involved in this and that their conferences are held, at which decisions must be made, between now and the time we are meeting, and is it not possible that we may have it even earlier than the time promised by the right hon. Gentleman?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

It must be left to the Government's judgment when it is possible for them to mature their proposals and to lay them before Parliament, but ample time will be given before the meeting of Parliament in the Autumn Session for Members to study and familiarise themselves with the details.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

May we take it from that reply that the Bill is not yet drafted and that important decisions have yet to be taken by the Cabinet?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

It is very unusual to ask questions or give information about the exact state of legislation which has not yet been presented. Every Government is entitled to prepare its legislation and to present it at the proper moment to the House, and that is exactly what we are going to do.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Since the Measure is actually being presented to-day, within two or three days of the conclusion of the Session, is it not usual for the text of a Bill to be in the hands of Members of the House?

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

We are presenting the Bill to-day for the express purpose of enabling it to be printed and circulated in the Recess, so that Members can have reasonable time to study it and its discussion can be begun as soon as we meet in the Autumn. We really cannot adopt a more correct procedure than that.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Are we to understand that this is only a dummy Bill?

Photo of Mr Richard Wallhead Mr Richard Wallhead , Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr

The question of my hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) was whether the Bill will be published before the great meetings of the trade unions. This thing affects them very nearly. After all, the Government hope, I suppose, to get the Measure well received by the trade unions, and it would be advisable to present it in time for proper discussion to take place.

Photo of Mr Winston Churchill Mr Winston Churchill , Epping

I think the House of Commons claims priority even over these important meetings.