CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. ORAL ANSWERS. - A REDUNDANT RAILWAY EMPLOYE— REFUSAL OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he is aware that Thomas McGuinness, Coolarty, Edgeworthstown, worked from 1919 until 1925 on the Midland Great Western Railway, and on being declared redundant was refused unemployment benefit, and if he will make representations to the Railway Company with a view to obtaining compensation for this man, who was compulsorily retired through no fault of his own, and if he is aware that he was a long time afterwards unemployed, and has a large family dependent on him.

Thomas McGuinness, Coolarty, Edgeworthstown, claimed unemployment benefit on the 29th July, 1925. His claim was disallowed by the Insurance Officer on the grounds that he was "not unemployed" and "not unable to obtain suitable employment." Mr. McGuinness appealed against the Insurance Officer's decision to the Court of Referees, and finally the claim was referred to the Umpire, who decided that the claim must be disallowed.

Mr. McGuinness made a further claim to benefit on the 15th October, 1925, which was disallowed on the same grounds, and the decision was confirmed on appeal.

Decisions given by the Umpire are not open to review either by the claimant or by my Department.

The Great Southern Railways Company states that Thomas McGuinness, who was a member of a re-laying gang, was, in common with other men, paid off in 1925, owing to the company having introduced an improved method of re-laying which did not require so many men. The company contends that his dismissal had nothing to do with amalgamation, and that Schedule 3 of the Railways Act consequently does not apply. A dispute on such a matter can only be determined in accordance with that Act, and I am not prepared to make any representations in favour of the payment of compensation to persons who do not establish that they are entitled to it by Statute.