§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, If he will cause inquiry to be made whether, after the passing of "The Employers' Liability Act, 1880," the London and North Western Railway Company induced their employés to contract themselves out of the Act; whether, since the introduction of the Employers' Liability Act (1880) Amendment Bill, the same Company have called upon their employés to sign another document to the effect that they are satisfied with the Act as it stands; and, whether the men signing this document are doing so under the understanding that it will be worse for them if they do not?
§ THE PRESIDENT (Mr. MUNDELLA) (Sheffield, Brightside)
I have no information on the subject of the hon. Member's Question; but such as has been furnished by the officials of the Company, who state that in 1871, prior to the passing of the Employers' Liability Act, the workmen in the employ of the Company had established an insurance fund to meet cases of accident. In 1881, after the passing of the Act, the Company offered considerable advantage to the men forming that society by making a large contribution to its funds, on the understanding that it was to cover all risks that might arise under the Act. Fifty-three thousand men in the service of the Company voluntarily acceded to this arrangement. Subsequently, it was made a condition that all new workmen should enter into a similar arrangement. The Company state that the insurance society has acted very advantageously to the interests of the workmen, and 1360 that its accounts show a large balance. With regard to the last paragraph of the hon. Member's Question, I understand that the workmen are petitioning Parliament in order that their representatives may be heard before the Select Committee to which the Bill is referred, when there will be an opportunity for a full statement of their case.
§ MR. SEXTON (Sligo, S.)
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he had any information to the effect that certain employés who had refused to contract themselves out of the Act had been dismissed?