UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BILL, 1924. FIRST STAGE.

I ask leave to introduce the Unemployment. Insurance Bill, 1924. It is a Bill to amend the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1920 to 1923, and for purposes connected therewith. The main provisions of the Bill are to the following effect:—The first provision is to revive contributions which have been exhausted by the payment of benefit in the last year and to make this contribution again available to qualify for benefit. The second provision will be to make special arrangements for men demobilised from the Army who had been previously employed in insurable occupations. The method of doing that will be to credit them with an increased number of contributions in respect of the period of Army service. The third provision will be the temporary suspension of certain disqualifications for benefits, due to insured contributors not having been able to obtain the necessary number of contributions. I ask leave to introduce the Bill.

Will the Minister say whether it is the intention of the Executive Council to have this Bill passed through all its stages before the session ends?

The date from which I have arranged to work with this Bill, if it meets with the approval of the Dáil, is the 30th June. Consequently, it is my intention to impress on the Dáil the necessity of passing it before that date.

Can the Minister say if the conditions will be made retrospective, or will they run from a certain date? Will the Minister give credit to soldiers disbanded three or six months ago?

That matter will arise later.

Leave granted. Second Stage ordered for Wednesday, June 11th.