Detainees (Insurance Benefits).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 16th December 1941.

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Mr. David:

Adams asked the Minister of Labour what steps he. proposes to take to ensure that persons detained under Regulation 18B who, before detention, were entitled to unemployment benefits, shall not, owing to their inability to make contributions to the Insurance Fund during internment, be denied their claims to such benefit upon release?

Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

I am not at present satisfied that there is a good case for making any alteration in the law on this point, but if my hon. Friend will let me have further information as to why he thinks any change is justified, I will look into the matter further.

Mr. Adams:

As these persons have not been sentenced by a court of law, does not my hon. Friend agree that they should not thus be deprived of their civil rights?

Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

The whole question is bristling with difficulties as far as the law is concerned, and unless there is some very good reason forthcoming it would be difficult to justify an alteration.

Mr. David Adams:

asked the Minister of Health what steps he proposes to take to ensure that persons detained under Regulation 18B who, before detention were entitled to National Health Insurance benefits, shall not, owing to their inability to make contributions to the Insurance Fund during internment, be denied their claims to such benefits upon release?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

Regulations will shortly be made under powers conferred by Section 8 of the National Health Insurance Act, 1941, by which such persons will be given an opportunity to safeguard their health insurance and contributory pensions rights by paying, within a reasonable period after their release, contributions at a reduced rate for the period of their detention. The reduced rate of contribution payable in these circumstances makes due allowance for the fact that such persons are not in a position to obtain health insurance benefits during their detention.

Mr. Adams:

Will the Ministry facilitate their re-employment, in order that they may make those contributions?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

I am afraid that that is another point.

Photo of Sir Frederick Messer Sir Frederick Messer , Tottenham South

I take it that the hon. Lady will see that, when these people come out of detention, as they will not have a job to go to, there will be a lapse of time before they fall properly into arrear?