I beg to move amendment 1 to this section:—
In sub-section (2) to delete all words after the word "that" in line 49 to the end of the sub-section and substitute therefor as follows:—
"each such person shall be credited in respect of the period during which he has been a person to whom this section applies such number of contributions as is the nearest integral equivalent of the sums which would have been paid in respect of him as employed person's contribution and State contribution, but not as employer's contribution, if he had continued to be employed in an insurable occupation during the whole of the period aforesaid."
This amendment has relation to the position of members of the National Army who have been demobilised. In discussing the Bill last year, objection was made when a proposal was put forward from these Benches regarding the Unemployment Insurance of keeping soldiers in benefit. The objection made was that the ordinary relations between employer and employed should not appertain in respect to the State and its armed forces. It is, as a consequence of the position taken up by the Ministry then, that this amendment seeks to impose upon the State a liability for paying the State share and the employed person's share of the ordinary insurance contribution. In general, it really means about two out of three contributions, but it is drafted in such a way as to embody the employed person's contribution and the State's contribution, leaving out the employer's contribution. It seeks, in fact, to add to the number of contributions which the soldier has credited to him according to his service in the Army. That stands, roughly, in the relation of two to three. If he serves three weeks then he would have two weeks' contributions. The State, as a matter of fact, provides clothing, food and medical attendance while the man is serving, and I think it is not an unreasonable suggestion that it should also provide insurance against unemployment after that person has been demobilised.
The position created by the Bill is that a soldier might receive up to 24, or even 48, contributions if he had served two insurance years, but these are not additions to his credits. He would only get credit such as would bring him up to those figures. He must have had at least ten contributions to his credit before he gets anything, so that the maximum addition is from 14 to 38 contributions.. If he has already got 24 or 48 according to the number of years served, he will get no addition whatever by the scheme of the Bill, but under the amendment all the soldier's previous contributions will remain with him, with the addition of two weeks out of three. That is in fact, what it means. I think the case should be readily understood if I say that the proposal is to make the State liable for the insured person's contributions during all the time he is in the service, minus the employer's share. In the ordinary way the State pays 6¾d., the employer 10d., and the employed person 9d. The proposal is, that while in the service of the State, the soldier should receive credit for the 9d. and the 6¾d., leaving unprejudiced the position that was taken up by the Ministry last year, which was that the State would not act in the relation of employer to a soldier. I beg to move the amendment.