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Volume 161: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1923

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asked the Minister of Labour if he can give the numbers affected by the gap in unemployment benefit in the month of February, 1923, of the following: Married men, married women, single women, single men, boys and girls, respectively, between 16 and 18 years of age, and boys and girls, respectively, between 18 and 21 years of age; and will he arrange to have a monthly statement issued showing the figures for each category in each week of the month?

I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement of the numbers of men, women, boys and girls respectively, who had exhausted benefit up to 26th February. Similar figures will be available week by week, but a sub- division of the figures into the categories mentioned in the question could not be made without what I fear would be excessive labour.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is already done in at least one of the Exchanges of Scotland, for the benefit of the manager of the Exchange? Could it not be extended?

It is, of course, possible to do it in one particular Exchange, but, obviously, when you apply it all over England the work that is entailed is very much increased.

In the information to be circulated, will the right hon. Gentleman give us the numbers affected by the gap? He is giving the information as to exhausted benefit.

The figures are lengthy, and I am circulating them in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

In his reply, the right hon. Gentleman has stated that he is circulating the figures relating to those who have exhausted benefit. The figures I want are as to those who are affected by the gap.

I am circulating information as to the number affected by the gap, thought it was a rather different point that was put by the hon. Member.

Following 'is the statement referred to:

At 26th February, the numbers who had exhausted the maximum benefit permissible under the existing Acts:

Boys (aged 16 to 18)282
Girls (aged 16 to 18)132

In addition, the following numbers had been refused further benefit by the local employment committees before reaching the maximum:

Boys (aged 16 to 18)1,177
Girls (aged 16 to 18)716