asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that members of the Dumbarton County Council who are unemployed are refused payment for attending meetings of the council because they have not lost time, and that they are refused unemployment insurance benefit for the days engaged on council work on the ground that they are not available for work; and whether he will take steps to enable them to be paid for attendance at council meetings?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Part III of the Fourth Schedule of the Local Government (Scotland) Act of 1929 provides for the payment of allowances in respect of time necessarily lost from ordinary employment. I am informed by the Minister of Labour that one member to whom the allowance was refused has claimed benefit in respect of the days on which he attended meetings, but has not yet taken the requisite steps to prove that he was unemployed on these days. My right hon. Friend is, however, further consulting the Minister of Labour and will communicate with the hon. Member.