asked the Minister of Labour on what grounds the unemployment assistance benefit has been refused to the Jarrow marchers, in view of the fact that they were kept continually in touch with the Jarrow Exchanges, ready to return to work if any were available, and were constantly in touch during the march with prospective employers?
I am informed that the Unemployment Assistance Board has no power to pay allowances to unemployed persons who are not available for work and that so long as the men in question were participating in the march they could not be accepted by the Board as so available. The question whether applicants for allowances are available for work is one which the Board's officers and the appeal tribunals have to decide in the light of the circumstances. I am informed that a number of cases were heard by the local appeals tribunal yesterday, and that their decision will be given immediately.
Pending that decision can the right hon. Gentleman suggest in what other ways men can be made available for work, if they are, as in this case, kept in constant touch with their Exchange and ready to be sent home whenever required; and are they not in touch with more prospective employers on the road than they would be in Jarrow?