Fines Unemployed Man 60s.
William Alfred Slater is one of Birmingham's unemployed.
Not long ago he managed to get a parttime job at 3s. 6d. a day. He did not tell the men who doled out his unemployment benefit anything about his job, for had they known, they would have stopped doling out unemployment benefit, and as this benefit was 5s. a day, William Alfred Slater would only have become hungrier through finding a little work to do.
The law has it that people like William Alfred Slater may earn up to 3s. 4d. a day without forfeiting any " dole "; but if they get a penny more than 3s. 4d. then all " dole " must stop.
William Alfred Slater got twopence more. For several days he got twopence more. But the Law got him in the end.
Last Tuesday he was brought before Birmingham Police Court. "It's not worth my working," said William Alfred Slater, when accused of his crime.
He was found guilty and fined sixty shillings.
" There are bound to be hard cases, especially where wages are low, but we have to be very careful," said Mr. Brind, manager of the Birmingham Employment Exchange, after the trial. He pointed out that the case was not brought by his Exchange but by a district exchange.
He pointed out also that an unemployed man was allowed to earn up to 3s. 4d. a day in subsidiary employment-outside his regular employment hours without losing his unemployment pay.
A spark of generous commonsense came from Mr. Tom Garnett, secretary of the Birmingham Borough Labour Party, who described the case as " a scandal " and commented that "even if the magistrates felt that they must give accord to the tenets of the Law a nominal fine would have been ample."