Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Insurance Benefits for British Unemployed Ex-Servicemen.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he is aware that the recent agreement with the British Government to pay benefits to unemployed ex-servicemen in Ireland does not apply to those discharged from the forces prior to 1st September, 1945; and if he will state with whom the obligation rests to remedy the hardship imposed on this class.

The agreement with the British Government in regard to the payment of special benefit to persons who have been discharged from the forces of the United Kingdom and who are unemployed in this country does not limit eligibility for special benefit by reference to the date of discharge. A condition for the receipt of special benefit is that at least 30 contributions must be to credit in the British Unemployment Fund in respect of the two years immediately preceding the date of the first claim. This condition has the effect of excluding from benefit persons who were discharged earlier than the commencement of the period of two years immediately preceding the date of the first claim or who, although discharged during that period of two years, have less than 30 contributions in respect of service in the British Forces during that period.

The question of varying the contribution condition is one for the British authorities.